California has long led the nation in developing and maintaining quality higher education options for students, as well as in providing financial aid and consumer protections for those who access that education. However, employment and wage outcome data available from colleges and postsecondary institutions in California vary widely depending on what – and what kind – of school a student attends. Students at private postsecondary institutions often only have access to unreliable, unverified data – and sometimes no data at all. Students at public institutions do have access to verified state data, but that information is siloed separately in each system, and presented in different formats and layouts, making the data difficult to use.
This report analyzes the student outcomes data currently available for students attending college in California, and makes recommendations for improving these data to better support informed decision making for students and families, policymakers, and colleges. Most importantly, TICAS recommends that reliable, verified state data be made available to all postsecondary students in California, no matter what kind of institution they attend.