Faculty & Research Limited Supply and Lagging Enrollment: Production Technologies and Enrollment Changes at Community Colleges during the Pandemic Jan 10, 2022 By Sarah TurnerDiane Whitmore Schanzenbach Limited Supply and Lagging Enrollment: Production Technologies and Enrollment Changes at Community Colleges during the Pandemic Weak labor markets typically lead young workers to invest in skills. High unemployment during COVID diverged from prior downturns: enrollment at community colleges dropped by 9.5 percent between 2019 and 2020, with the drop larger among men. COVID disruptions generated supply-side impacts on courses of study requiring significant capital and “hands on” experiential learning, particularly programs that deliver of assembly, repair and maintenance (ARM) skills. Community colleges that had relative concentrations of credentials in ARM fields pre-pandemic experienced relatively large enrollment declines. The decline in ARM enrollment explains nearly all the difference in enrollment declines by gender during COVID. Link to Working Paper Areas of focus Education Sarah Turner Sarah Turner is a University Professor of economics, education and public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Souder Family Endowed Professor. Much of her research focuses on post-secondary education, where she explores the intersection of education and economics policies. Read full bio Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach Related Content Sarah Turner Progressivity of Pricing at US Public Universities Research New research describes recent shifts in net tuition by family income and institution type and assesses the role of changes in state funding in generating these shifts. The Right Way to Capture College “Opportunity”: Popular Measures Can Paint the Wrong Picture of Low-Income Student Enrollment Research Higher education may be one of the most important channels through which people can attain improved life outcomes based on their merit rather than family background. If qualified students from lower-income families are underrepresented in higher education, there is potentially a failure not just in equity but in economic efficiency as well. Batten Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Teaching, Service, Research and Engagement News This academic year, Batten School professors won a slew of internal and external recognitions for excellence in teaching, service, research and engagement. Professor Sarah Turner: The more tuition rises, the cheaper college gets — for some News The Hechinger Report shares findings from Batten School Professor Sarah Turner's latest research on where, and for whom, college tuition costs are rising.