Mayoral Leadership for Postsecondary Success and Career Readiness

With support from Lumina Foundation, NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families has developed a new series of publications highlighting city strategies to increase local college completion rates.  The series includes three municipal action guides on the following topics:

Also with support from Lumina Foundation, NLC commissioned an analysis of Mayoral Leadership for Postsecondary Success and Career Readiness by Professor Kenneth K. Wong of Brown University on the role that mayors are playing to support college access and completion in their cities.

In the last few years, municipal leaders in more than a dozen cities have launched new, multi-sector collaborations to dramatically increase the proportion of residents in their communities who obtain postsecondary degrees and credentials.  City officials are increasingly focused on postsecondary success as a core component of their economic development strategies.

Dr. Kenneth K. Wong, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair for Education Policy at Brown University, documents the ways in which mayors are exercising leadership on this issue in his paper on Mayoral Leadership for Postsecondary Success and Career Readiness.  Professor Wong has conducted extensive research on education politics and policy, including mayoral involvement in the governance of public schools at the K-12 level.  This paper compares mayoral engagement in the K-12 and postsecondary sectors and highlights five new strategies that mayors in 10 selected cities are using to improve postsecondary success rates:

  • Building and sustaining public-private partnerships;
  • Interconnecting with local talent attraction/retention, workforce development, and economic development initiatives;
  • Leveraging data to target support;
  • Increasing college access and completion supports; and
  • Leveraging support from nonprofit intermediaries.