This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.
Using 15 years of student enrollment histories from administrative data spanning the 2004–05 through 2018–19 school years at all public colleges, universities, and technical/trade schools in the state of Ohio, we examine rates of re-enrollment in postsecondary education for individuals pursuing additional credentials following the receipt of a sub-baccalaureate certificate. We find that the majority of certificate recipients re-enroll to continue their progression toward stacking credentials. The likelihood of re-enrollment diminishes for certificate earners as they get further out from the term when their initial certificate was completed. Certificate earners re-enroll at an accelerated rate if they acquired their initial certificate at a community college, if they currently have low wages at their jobs, and following increases in local unemployment rates. Our findings lend support to sociological ideas about the role of institutional contexts, opportunity costs, and labor market opportunities in shaping non-traditional postsecondary pathways across the life course.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.