Washington’s economy depends on people who complete a credential after high school, such as a degree, apprenticeship, or certificate. Post-high school education helps individuals gain the knowledge and skills they need to pursue careers over a lifetime, succeed economically – even in uncertain economic times – and create strong communities.
Even before the pandemic, post-high school education enrollment and credential attainment rates had flattened. During the pandemic, the rates declined dramatically. For the Class of 2021, just 40% of students are projected to earn a credential by age 26. That’s 3 percentage points lower than expected credential attainment for the high school Class of 2019. Black, Hispanic and Latino/a, and Native American students are projected to earn credentials at even lower rates.
In response to the ongoing postsecondary education enrollment crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic, the College Promise Coalition urges the legislature to build on the progress we have made reverse the troubling enrollment and attainment trajectories. We support a variety of strategies to meet students’ needs to enroll in and complete a post-high school credential:
- Support students on the path to enrollment and completion through high-quality career navigation and advising.
- Continue to expand access to career connected learning and dual credit courses for students to earn college credit while in high school, cost free.
- Increase financial aid form completion.
- Grow capacity in high-demand degree and certificate programs.
Read our full 2024 agenda HERE.
Learn more about the Path to 70% and watch student stories HERE.