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The policy filtering process: Understanding distinctive state responses to the National College Completion Agenda in the United States

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Published: 2018-05-07

Authors

Paul G. Rubin

University of Georgia AERA/AAAS Congressional Fellow

James C. Hearn

University of Georgia

Keywords: United States; higher education; education policy; college completion; governance

Abstract

The United States has faced stagnant postsecondary education degree completion rates for over a decade. When coupled with improved educational outcomes in other nations, the one-time world leader in higher education attainment has precipitously declined in standing internationally. Coupling this reality with the need for a more educated workforce domestically led President Barack Obama to proclaim improving higher education completion rates a national imperative in 2009. Despite input from the federal government, due to the decentralized nature of American postsecondary education, individual states maintain primary responsibility for governance and policy decisions. Consequently, there has been a range of state responses to improving college completion. Through a comparative case analysis, this study considers a putatively homogenous region to investigate state-level factors that “filtered” the national college completion agenda to distinct responses in Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas.

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Author Biographies

Paul G. Rubin

University of Georgia AERA/AAAS Congressional Fellow

Paul G. Rubin was selected as a 2017-2018 AERA/AAAS Congressional Fellow following completion of his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education. His research focuses on the intersections between higher education policy, governance of the postsecondary sector, and how academic research informs the policymaking process.

James C. Hearn

University of Georgia

James C. Hearn is a professor of higher education and associate director of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. His research interests center on state policies and organizational change in higher education.

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Published: 2018-05-07

How to Cite

Rubin, P. G., & Hearn, J. C. (2018). The policy filtering process: Understanding distinctive state responses to the National College Completion Agenda in the United States. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 60. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.26.3447