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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Higher Education for Hoosiers!

In my ongoing effort to keep up with the latest economic development policy prescriptions for my home state (Indiana), I ran across this today, on the Inside Indiana Business website:

"In order for Indiana to stay competitive in attracting and retaining jobs, 1.2 million more Hoosiers need college degrees. This is one of the findings from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's
Adult Education and Workforce Skills Performance Report, presented this morning to some 40 business leaders. Senior Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development for Ivy Tech Community College Susan Brooks says currently nearly one million Hoosier adults between the age of 25 and 64 need to further their education and improve training to get better jobs. She says the goal is to bring them back to college and training programs to compete in this higher technology environment."

This seemed very ambitious to me, so I poked around a bit. According to
StatsIndiana, 24.4% of the US adult population (age 25 and over) has completed at least a college education, while in Indiana, only 19.4% has. So there is, in fact, a gap, and a substantial one. Indiana's population, age 25 - 64 in 2007, was 3.336 million. If the US college completion rate were the same as the nation, we'd have about 170,000 more college graduates than we do. If we added 1.2 million college graduates, our college completion rate would be 55.4%. This seems like a truly ambitious goal. I'm thinking whoever wrote that report did not explore what it really means...

ADDENDUM: I'd love it if the state legislature adopted this as a goal and provided adequate funding for it. I'd never have to worry about having work.


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