To grow state economy, set attainment goals and close equity gaps in college education


Californians received welcome news last year when the state flexed its power and became the fifth largest economy in the world. This didn’t happen by accident. Our previous state leaders made smart and significant investments in our education systems to produce a world-class workforce. We allowed innovators and disruptors to thrive and create new industries, and we embraced the diversity that has made the Golden State such a great place to live, work and do business.

Instead of becoming complacent, we must build on our economic momentum. As we look to California’s future, it is critical to be asking Gov. Gavin Newsom and our new state leaders: how will we maintain California’s economic standing in the world?

Any effective business or organizational leader will tell you that this task will require a fair amount of data, bold thinking and a strategy that turns goals into action.

The data reveals an urgent challenge for California’s leadership. We know that by 2030, at least 60 percent of working age adults in our state will need to posses a college degree or credential in order to fill workforce demands. That means California will need to produce 1.65 million more degrees or credentials over the next decade. Unfortunately, our state is not on track to meet this need.

Recent reports from The Campaign for College Opportunity point to significant gaps in the number of students our state graduates with the skills and preparation they need to succeed in college, the number of students eligible to attend college and the number of students our universities actually enroll, and significant financial burdens for low-income students to attend college.

We believe Gov. Newsom and state leaders are serious about maintaining our economic standing, therefore making college preparation, access, completion and affordability a priority must take center stage.

We applaud Gov. Newsom for the initial investments he has proposed in the state budget when it comes to higher education. His new investments to fund enrollment growth, address student success initiatives and re-engage adults with no degree are good starts to getting students in the door. His expansion of the California College Promise and increases in need-based financial aid will help tackle some of the financial obstacles that keep low and middle-income students from pursuing a college degree.

However, we need a goalpost for the state. If we know that the state will need 60 percent of its adult population to possess a college degree to …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News


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