Teaching Students About the World of Work

Teaching Students About the World of Work A Challenge to Postsecondary Educators

Edited by Nancy Hoffman and Michael Lawrence Collins, Foreword by Garrett Moran
paper, 264 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-494-6
Price: $33.00

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cloth, 264 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-495-3
Price: $64.00

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Teaching Students About the World of Work argues that educational institutions—especially two-year and four-year public institutions serving low-income students—need to make the topic of employment a central element in their educational offerings. Indeed, the book demonstrates that a far greater emphasis on teaching students about the work world will be necessary if colleges are to give disadvantaged students a realistic chance for professional and economic success. The recommendation is a reconfiguration of postsecondary education that represents a paradigm shift in career preparation and learning.


Teaching Students About the World of Work offers a grounded, realistic overview of what it would mean to take work seriously as both a goal and as an object of study. It’s a welcome first step in a much larger project crucial to everyone in higher education: making the promise of equality come true. — Matthew Reed, vice president for Learning, Brookdale Community College

Focusing on community colleges, the authors make a convincing case that schools should better integrate the world of work into the college experience in order to help students develop the skills, confidence, and contacts to achieve professional and economic success. — Martha Ross, fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program

To ensure that all students, especially those from low-income backgrounds and communities of color, earn high-quality degrees and credentials, postsecondary leaders must do a better job connecting the dots between education and the workforce. This book superbly makes that case and highlights the important role of community colleges in preparing students for jobs that can put them on a path toward economic mobility and prosperity. — Michelle Asha Cooper, president, Institute for Higher Education Policy

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About the Editors

Nancy Hoffman is a senior advisor at Jobs for the Future and a co-founder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network. Michael Lawrence Collins is vice president at Jobs for the Future.