Julie Strawn

Julie Strawn is a senior fellow at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Recent Articles

Ideas From the Other Washington

Policy reforms to increase student success.

Community colleges, far more than four-year colleges, serve groups that will dominate our undergraduate student populations and our work force for decades to come: students on their own financially, older students, people of color, parents, first-generation college students, and immigrants. Although widely viewed as gateways to the American dream, community colleges face relatively low completion rates. This quandary challenges our national commitment to economic mobility. Washington state, more than any other, has sought to address this challenge systematically. Researchers mined state data on work-force needs, demographic changes, and student outcomes in community and technical colleges. They found that students needed to reach a "tipping point" in their educational journeys for postsecondary education to translate into significant economic benefits. This tipping point is about a year's worth of post-secondary education, paired with an occupational credential. But too few students,...