Community College Health Programs and the Labor Market
Michel Grosz

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Davis

Primary Discipline

Does a community college education lead to better job prospects and higher earnings? There is a large literature on the returns to postsecondary schooling, but less is known about community colleges. Recent increases in the demand for skilled workers and the stagnation of baccalaureate degree attainment have shined a spotlight on community colleges as a resource for students to increase their earnings potential. Of particular interest are programs in health fields, due to rapid expansions in the healthcare industry. In my dissertation I present causal estimates of the labor market returns to community college programs that train workers in these fields, such as registered nursing. I leverage the fact that many of these programs have admissions policies based on random lotteries. My study is thus among the first to use this type of variation to estimate the returns to postsecondary schooling. I use a unique dataset linking administrative student records and earnings for community college students in California over the past two decades. I focus on one large college that provided me detailed student-level information on its admissions processes. My study adds an important dimension to the existing literature on the returns to education. It also sheds light on community college programs at a time of dynamic changes in the labor market.
About Michel Grosz
Michel Grosz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Davis and a graduate student affiliate at the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. His primary research interest is in post-secondary education and its link with the labor market. He is working on several projects related to community colleges, including estimating the economic returns to career technical programs in California and examining how colleges respond to changes in local labor market demand. Prior to graduate school he was a research associate at the Urban Institute, where he primarily studied the school and housing mobility of children in Washington, DC. He holds a BA in Economics from Pomona College and is originally from Argentina.

Pin It on Pinterest