Thursday, September 22, 2011

College Degree Boost Program Outlined

Governor Fallin and higher education officials today announced a new higher education initiative to increase the number of Oklahomans who have college degrees. 

Currently, state colleges and universities annually award 30,500 degrees. The initiative aims to increase that number 67 percent so that by 2023 Oklahoma colleges and universities will annually award 50,900 college degrees.

Addressing members of her cabinet, higher education officials and others today at the University of Central Oklahoma, the governor provided details of an approach that builds upon the Complete College America (CCA) national initiative.

“My top priority as governor is to create a business environment in Oklahoma that fosters economic growth and job creation. Ensuring we have a highly skilled, college educated workforce is essential to attracting and retaining good jobs and investment to our state,” Fallin said. “Today, we are officially launching our plan to significantly improve degree attainment in the state. I look forward to working closely with Chancellor Glen Johnson, our colleges and universities and the entire CCA leadership team to increase the number of degrees awarded annually.”

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said, “An increase in degrees of this magnitude will require a great deal of effort by our colleges and universities, and we are completely committed to accomplishing this goal in order to compete successfully and meet the demands of the global marketplace. This initiative will be our top priority for 2012, and we will continue working closely with our business community and our CCA leadership team in a highly collaborative manner to achieve this goal.”

Planned projects for the initiative include a statewide redesign of remedial and developmental education; a plan to reduce remediation demands in the transition from high school to college; continued development of Reach Higher, Oklahoma’s adult degree completion program; enhanced efforts to audit and bring in line with the national norm all certificates awarded through the Cooperative Alliance program with the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education; and review and revise the Brain Gain Performance Funding program.

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