Amid anxieties about an hourglass economy and the effects of globalization, there is a new sense of urgency in the U.S. regarding access to postsecondary education. The fact is that high school can no longer be the educational finish line for most students, including language minority students. In a postindustrial age, tertiary education (including associate and bachelor’s degrees, technical training and certificate programs) is indeed becoming a necessity for many Americans. Unskilled jobs in goodsproducing fields such as manufacturing and agriculture are experiencing long-term stagnation and decline (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004). Other unskilled jobs in industries such as food service rely on a continuing turnover of young workers and immigrants who are willing to tolerate poor wages and few opportunities for advancement (Education Trust, 2003). Yet a recent report published by the Educational Testing Service (Kirsch, Braun, Yamamoto, & Sun, 2007) observes that given current trends, overall levels of literacy and numeracy in the U.S. population

will have decreased [by 2030] by about 5% while inequality will have increased about 7% percent. Put crudely, over the next 25 years or so, as better-educated individuals leave the workforce they will be replaced by those who, on average, have lower levels of education and skill.