December 28, 2010
Less than half of college students finish in six years
A recent study from Georgetown University highlights a huge gap between where Utah is and where it needs to be — a gap that inspired the Utah State Board of Regents to create what they call the “Big Goal.”
The Georgetown study, “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018,” estimates that by 2018, new jobs in Utah requiring postsecondary education and training will increase by 202,000. But jobs for high school graduates and dropouts will increase by only 97,000. This means that 66 percent of all jobs in Utah — about 1 million jobs total — will need employees with a higher education degree or certificate.
The Utah State Board of Regents snapped into action with the 2010 Report of the HigherEdUtah2020 strategic plan and set its “Big Goal.” If Georgetown says Utah needs 66 percent of its workers to have a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2018, then the Utah System of Higher Education will reach that goal — but by 2020 to be safe.
But this may not be so easy.
The 2010 Report found that currently only about 49 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen will have a bachelor’s degree within six years. And only 40 percent of first-time, full-time students seeking an associate degree will finish within three years.
Nationally, according to ACT college-retention figures used in the 2010 Report, the first-to-second-year retention rate is 64 percent for two-year colleges and 72 percent for four-year public colleges.
To read this article in its entirety, click here.Posted by: psilberman