American Higher Education: How Does It Measure Up for the 21st Century? – a report recently issued by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education – examines the state of higher education in this country today, and recommends ways in which to ensure the future success of post-secondary education.

The two essays that comprise this report were authored by members of the National Center’s Board of Directors: James B. Hunt, Jr., former governor of North Carolina and an advocate of education reform; and Thomas J. Tierney, a leader in the business and non-profit sectors.

The health of our national economy will depend on the higher education of our population, according to the report. As baby boomers begin to retire, their replacements will be coming from the expanding minority and low-income population, typically the least educated groups in the country.

To meet this challenge, this country needs to find ways to repair the “education pipeline” – i.e., ensure higher high school graduation rates and improve college readiness of its graduates. In addition, college education needs to be made more affordable, and universities must become more accountable.

Shared responsibility for the future of higher education involves the states working closely with federal government, a greater public investment in education, increased action and accountability of post-secondary institutions.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education is a non-profit organization devoted to improving higher education in the U.S. through research, analysis and action-oriented ideas.