Capacity Gap


  • In the past decade, PSCUs invested $5.75 billion to increase capacity and serve more students.

  • At the same time, public colleges have had to stem enrollments because of caps on public funding. For example, California’s community colleges turned away 140,000 students in the 2009-10 academic year.

  • Enrollments in degree-granting PSCUs soared from 2000 to 2010:
    • At four-year degree-granting PSCUs, enrollment increased 513 percent, compared with just 34 percent at four-year public schools and 22 percent at four-year private nonprofit institutions
    • At two-year PSCUs, enrollment increased 124 percent, compared with 26 percent at two-year public institutions, while enrollment decreased 44 percent at two-year not-for-profit schools

  • Students graduate from PSCUs with credentials in high-demand fields. Of the three occupations projected to grow fastest and require postsecondary credentials by 2020, PSCUs award: 
    • 75 percent of those in dental assistance
    • 37 percent of those in HVAC
    • 8 percent of those in EMT

  • Of the projected five fastest growing occupations requiring associate’s degrees by 2020, PSCUs award: 
    • 51 percent of those in veterinary technology
    • 33 percent of those in cardiovascular technology
    • 39 percent of those in medical sonography
    • 17 percent of those in occupational therapy assistance
    • 12 percent of those in dental hygiene

  • If America is to meet projected workforce requirements over the next decade, we need:
    • 15 million new bachelor’s degrees
    • 4 million new nondegree credentials
    • 1 million new associate’s degrees

  • Private sector colleges and universities will have to continue to provide skills-based educational opportunities, particularly to nontraditional students, to fill these job demands.


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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.