In 2013 the Washington legislature adopted a goal that at least 70% of adults ages 25-44 possess a postsecondary credential or degree by 2023. This means four- and two-year degrees, apprenticeships, or certificates that prepare students for careers.
But today just 51% of adults have a post-high school credential. For Washington students specifically, less than one-third attain a postsecondary credential. For our students of color, rates of attainment range between 16% and 25%.
Washington is projected to have 740,000 job openings by 2021. A majority of these jobs will require workers to get a credential of some kind after high school. CPC is working to make sure Washington students are prepared to take advantage of the career opportunities in their home state.
We are not yet on track to meet the 2023 adopted goal – working together on shared priorities to achieve our higher education attainment goals is CPC’s mission, improving workers’ quality of life and our economy.
Using the strength of our collective voice, the CPC is bringing attention to the need for new strategies and increased investments in proven strategies that retain students, lead to degree completion and strengthen pathways for systemically underserved populations, such as transfer students, veterans, and adult learners.
Our agenda recognizes that reaching our 70% goal will take the committed efforts of our full coalition to achieve a broad range of target areas to meet the changing needs of today’s students. These areas of focus include:
- Supporting and developing financial aid programs.
- Expanding programs that clearly define pathways to certificates and degrees, including remedial and transfer programs.
- Coordinating and expanding college-based K-12 pipeline programs for first generation students and students of color.
- Investment in higher education institutions.