Di Xu, an assistant professor of education at UCI, is the co-author of a prize-winning research paper on the labor market value of community college certificates.

Di Xu, assistant professor of education, is co-author of a research report selected as the winner of the 2017 AEFP-Kauffman Foundation Award for best academic paper on the intersection of education and labor market outcomes. In “What About Certificates? Evidence on the Labor Market Returns to Non-Degree Community College Awards in Two States,” Xu and Madeline Trimble, data analyst at Teachers College, Columbia University, detail the relationship between earning a certificate and a student’s earning and employment status after college. “We are honored to receive this prestigious award,” Xu said. “While the economic returns on associate and baccalaureate degrees have been well-documented, relatively little is known about the labor market value of non-degree awards, nontraditional higher education pathways and short-term job training programs.” AEFP is the Association for Education Finance & Policy, a nonprofit professional and academic group dedicated to promoting an understanding of how resources are generated, distributed and used to enhance learning. The award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, was announced March 16 at the AEFP annual conference in Washington, D.C. The study was supported by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences.