New Research Finds Gap Between Postsecondary Certificate and Degree Holders and Projected Workforce Requirements

August 27th, 2015

Attainment Report GraphicAs members of the Arizona community, we all understand the significant connection between a highly educated workforce and improving the state’s economy. As an essential strategy of that effort, the idea of increasing our state’s postsecondary attainment rate (the percentage of adults who hold a high quality credential, certificate or degree) is gaining steam among a number of state education and business leaders.

As part of College Success Arizona’s mission to build public will for college completion and support an increase in degree earners, especially among low-income and first-generation students across the state, we are committed to produce needed data on college success rates and economic impact in the state and to create dialogue on the findings.

On August 27th, we released the first in a series of non-partisan and evidence-based policy briefs and reports focused on the value of increasing the attainment rate in Arizona. The first brief, Advancing the Economy Through Attainment: What Arizona Can Learn From States With Higher Education Attainment Goals takes a deep look at how Arizona compares to other states that share political and economic similarities but that, unlike Arizona, have set statewide attainment goals. The brief presents educational indicators from Arizona, and five selected states that have already set strong postsecondary attainment goals, to provide a comparative snapshot and examples of current strategies that are improving attainment across the country and the economic and social benefits they are receiving from doing so.

We think there is the potential to learn from what other states have done, as Arizona looks to strengthen policies that will affect students and the state for years to come.

We hope the report will raise awareness around the urgent need to close the attainment gap between Arizona and states we compete with, and to provide to state education leaders, lawmakers, and policy makers the essential information to understand the importance of increasing the number of degree and certificate earners in the state.

You can read, and download, an electronic copy of the brief here.

Please reach out to us to share your feedback and ideas. We look forward to speaking with you and your friends and colleagues about the brief and the connection between college success and the state’s economic success. As this information is discussed, we hope that you will share it with your networks and join us in the continuing dialogue about college attainment in the state.

For additional information, or to receive a printed copy of the brief, please contact Greg Hyland, College Success Arizona’s Director of Communications and Engagement at (602) 636-1850 or ghyland@collegesuccessarizona.org.

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