UPCEA joined with HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) and ACE (American Council on Education) along with other organizations to retain protections for those who are part of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program until longer term solutions can be put into place. The letters call for the program to be retained and note the impact on our universities and society at large. These individuals had to have come to the country before the age of 16, be in, or have completed, high school or a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the military. These bright and talented young people are working, serving in the armed services or studying at colleges and universities. Because they now have work permits, they are making contributions to our society and our economy. They are paying taxes and buying cars, homes, and consumer goods, which generates economic activity and increases tax revenue for federal, state and local governments. While they contribute significantly to our economy, they are ineligible for federal means-tested welfare benefits, Pell Grants and federal student loans, and health care tax subsidies. According to a recent study by the CATO Institute, deporting those currently in DACA would cost over $60 billion in lost tax revenue and result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.
DACA protects over 800,000 individuals who have registered with the program. The Trump Administration has signaled in recent weeks that they may be taking some action on DACA in the coming weeks.
Current economic trends may lead to more socioeconomic divisions, according to Lynn Pasquerella, the president of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. In “Future Forward: The Next 20 Years of Higher Education,” most respondents said the preponderance of online education options had been the most seismic development in higher education during the previous two decades.
Robert Hansen, the chief executive officer of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, said he believes elite institutions will likely remain unchanged in the decades to come, along with the premier land-grant institutions, but he expressed concern for smaller, regional schools.
Blackboard recently teamed up with the University Professional and Continuing Education Association to produce a report exploring generational shifts in education. One of the report’s most striking findings is that 30% of respondents indicated that they don’t draw on knowledge from their university degree in their current job and 23% indicated that their degree is only somewhat relevant. However, when asked, “How interested are you in earning an educational, professional, or skill-based certificate or badge in the future?,” the response was overwhelmingly positive. Among Generation Z and younger Millennial employees, 36% to 37% indicated that that are eager to acquire additional credentials. Moreover, even more than a quarter of Generation X employees, many who are now in their 50s, shared their younger coworkers’ enthusiasm to acquire additional credentials on the job.