Loading…
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: 11/19/2012

EDITORIAL

Get that degree

Only 26 per­cent of Ohio adults have a four-year col­lege de­gree, com­pared with 31 per­cent na­tion­wide. Each per­cent­age point by which the state lags the na­tional rate costs the Ohio econ­omy an es­ti­mated $2.5 bil­lion a year.

By 2018, a re­cent study proj­ects, this state will have nearly a mil­lion new jobs that will re­quire ed­u­ca­tion af­ter high school. If Ohio is to re­main com­pet­i­tive in the na­tional and global econ­o­mies, it will have to grad­u­ate more of its res­i­dents from col­lege, and keep more of them here once they earn their de­grees.

Check out more Blade editorials

A new pro­gram by the Ohio Board of Regents, which over­sees the state’s sys­tem of pub­lic higher ed­u­ca­tion, of­fers the pros­pect of ad­dress­ing both ob­jec­tives.

A task force re­port com­mis­sioned by the re­gents pro­poses 20 stu­dent-cen­tered ideas for in­creas­ing col­lege prog­ress and com­ple­tion in Ohio. Among them: Each pub­lic uni­ver­sity should de­velop a spe­cific plan for de­gree com­ple­tion. Univer­sities and pub­lic schools should work more closely to­gether to pre­pare stu­dents for higher ed­u­ca­tion, to re­duce the need for re­me­dial classes later.

Poten­tial stu­dents, whether they are still in high school or in the adult work force, should have more ways to earn al­ter­na­tive col­lege credit. Univer­sities and com­mu­nity col­leges should do more to sup­port new and strug­gling stu­dents with ori­en­ta­tion pro­grams, ac­a­demic ad­vis­ing, and coun­sel­ing about grad­u­a­tion re­quire­ments. The schools should make clearer con­nec­tions be­tween col­lege com­ple­tion and ca­reer pros­pects.

Stu­dents should be el­i­gi­ble for in­cen­tives for earn­ing their de­grees on time. They and their fam­i­lies should have greater ac­cess to in­struc­tion in fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy and plan­ning.

As part of the ini­tia­tive, the Board of Regents has launched an on­line ef­fort called OhioMeansSuc­cess.org. The pro­gram aims to help stu­dents find af­ford­able ways to at­tend and fin­ish col­lege, get fi­nan­cial aid, trans­fer ac­a­demic cred­its, and earn cre­den­tials.

Ohio needs a de­tailed strat­egy to in­crease its num­ber of col­lege grad­u­ates. Mary El­len Mazey, pres­i­dent of Bowl­ing Green State Univer­sity, notes that “pro­vid­ing these op­por­tu­ni­ties to the cit­i­zens of Ohio, and sup­port­ing them dur­ing their col­lege ca­reers, is go­ing to have a sig­nifi­cant im­pact on the eco­nomic fu­ture of this state.”

At the same time, Gov. John Ka­sich seeks to tie state aid to pub­lic uni­ver­sities and col­leges to im­proved grad­u­a­tion rates. The col­lege com­ple­tion pro­gram could help meet these short-term and long-term goals with equal suc­cess.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.