Posted on September 26th, 2012 No comments
~New report highlights the importance of certificates and encourages communities to learn more about their economic value, where they’re offered in Florida, and differences in quality~
“When you look at the list of the fastest growing industries in Florida and the education requirements of those jobs it becomes clear that the certificate has the potential to provide those who earn them a high-skill, high-paying job and the opportunity to pursue higher levels of education,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director for Florida C.A.N.!
According to the report, Florida awards a high number of certificates relative to its population when compared to other states. The 2009-2010 academic year marked the first year that more certificates (83,670) were awarded in Florida than bachelor’s degrees (83,386). The steep rise in undergraduate certificates awarded is almost entirely accounted for by private, for-profit institutions up 107-percent since 2003-04. Certificates awarded by public higher education institutions decreased by 1.8-percent during the same period.
“This credential has been shown to provide an affordable alternative to a traditional college degree for those looking for an advantage in the labor market,” said Colón. “As we move forward, we must ensure the quality of these postsecondary degrees is high and that they indeed translate into good paying jobs in the local economy,” said Colón.
The report recommends (1) a clear definition for “high-quality” postsecondary certificate, (2) high-quality certificates be counted toward state postsecondary degree attainment goals, (3) student advisement on the potential benefits of certificates be improved, and (4) communities develop plans for improving college and career readiness, access and completion.
To view the entire report, click here. Also available on the Florida C.A.N.! website as a companion to the new report is a regional breakdown of Florida employment projections by industry, occupations and education requirements. For more information, visit www.floridacollegeaccess.org and click on “Research & Data”.
Posted on August 24th, 2012 No comments
By Lalita Llerena, Community Engagement Specialist, Florida College Access Network
When you think of succeeding in college, you often only think of grades, credits and other academic measures. But there are several other social and civic factors that contribute to someone’s ability to stick with the program and complete postsecondary education. I recently had the honor of personally witnessing one of those factors: service-learning. It’s a concept not often referenced in the higher education realm. What is common knowledge is the more engaged students are with their campus environment, the more likely they will graduate. Service-learning is one of those ways to get college students more involved. It incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while benefitting the community.
Now, I can spend time detailing the proven research connecting student success with civic engagement. But, hey, I’ll leave that to our senior researcher to consider for a future policy brief. Instead, I decided to hit the road and discover first-hand what service-learning is all about.
Earlier this month, I attended the 2012 AmeriCorps & Connect2Complete Service Retreat at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. For three days, I mingled with a crowd of AmeriCorps VISTA members, College Access & Success AmeriCorps members, campus coordinators and Connect2Complete peer advocates. The retreat was hosted by our partners at Florida Campus Compact (FL|CC), a membership organization made up of more than 50 college and university presidents committed to helping students develop the values and skills of active citizenship through participation in public and community service.
Now, if you’re as lost as I was when I first arrived, let me break it down for you. VISTA stands for “Volunteers In Service To America.” FL|CC AmeriCorps VISTA members are college graduates placed with colleges, universities and community organizations to improve education and address societal needs through campus-community partnerships, applied civic education and engaged citizenship. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full-time, year-long terms. While in service, members receive a very modest living allowance and are eligible for healthcare and other benefits. Their sole purpose is to serve and they’re not allowed to have another paying job. Talk about commitment.
Then there are the College Access & Success AmeriCorps members, college students who serve as mentors to at-risk youth and/or first generation, low-income students to help them get into college and graduate. College Access is a part-time AmeriCorps program, and students can choose to serve 300 or 900 hours.
Finally, under the Connect2Complete (C2C) pilot program, college students serve as peer advocates to first-year college students enrolled in developmental education courses. The goal is to better engage those students with their campus and community so they can achieve academic success.
All these members have “service” in common and they’re clearly driven by something deeper than just finding a job that pays the bills. They’re looking for something more meaningful. Leo Davila is a College Access AmeriCorps student with Polk State College. Growing up in a rough neighborhood himself, he is passionate about mentoring at-risk youth. “I guess I could say I was a delinquent kid but I learned at an early age where I needed to step up my game and so hopefully through my actions, through my change of heart, I can try to teach them that even though they’re still young and they don’t understand that eventually they will. Hopefully I can give back to them,” shared Davila.
As I spoke with other students like Davila, one common theme stood out; a concept many members refer to as the ‘aha’ moment. They view this as a powerful turning point they reach while volunteering. AmeriCorps and C2C members either personally shared their particular ‘aha’ moment when they discovered the role they were meant to play in life or they referenced the ‘aha’ moment as a goal they aimed for while completing their service hours. “The members that we work with sign up for a term of service which is sometimes up to a year and throughout that year, they’re learning a lot about what their role is in society and as citizens. And sometimes it takes challenges to actually achieve that ‘aha’ moment but when they do, that’s when the real learning takes place and they figure out how they can implement that in their own lives moving forward,” said Courtney Kuntz, FL|CC Director of Programs & Development.
The last day of the retreat, I got my hands a little dirty with the AmeriCorps and C2C members. All the attendees were split into groups and each performed a different service project, including beach clean-up, butterfly garden restoration, assisted living help and soup kitchen work. My group helped clean and sanitize YMCA preschool classrooms to transition from summer to fall classes. And I’m not talking about stacking books or organizing lesson plans. Our group was on our knees pulling playground weeds, scrubbing and sanitizing furniture and toys, painting walls and climbing ladders to clean hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. My favorite moment as I helped paint one of the interior walls, is hearing a group of young children repeating an upbeat chant in the next room. I peeked through the door window and saw dozens of smiling young faces cheering as loudly as they could with their instructor. I guess you can call that my mini ‘aha’ moment at the time. You see, as we scrubbed dirt and cleaned windows, it could feel like just another job. But those kids’ vibrant cheers reminded me who I was doing this for and it made it all worth it. Another meaningful moment was seeing the teachers’ reaction when they found out nearly a dozen volunteers were there to help set up their classrooms. They were extremely surprised and grateful. What our group was able to accomplish in just a few hours as a team, most likely would’ve taken the YMCA staff days to complete.
Ok, so no big deal; I volunteered for two hours out of my day. Big whoop. The people I shadowed do it on a daily basis, with very little to no pay. Most of these are college-educated folks doing manual, grueling labor all for the betterment of their community and themselves. Tuyet Nguyen, an AmeriCorps Vista with Stetson University, said, “I just have a passion to serve. It’s very rewarding to me to be able to help others out because I know what it’s like to be helped. I came here not too long ago from Vietnam, from a refugee camp, so without help I wouldn’t be here — that’s why I’m giving back. ”
One of the program’s requirements after a service project is reflection time, which can take written, verbal or artistic forms. “You have to take some time to sit back and think about what it is you’re doing and how you can have the most impact,” said Kuntz. As AmeriCorps and C2C members reflect on the project afterward, they start discovering hidden strengths and passions. It’s not uncommon for a volunteer to gravitate toward a duty that best suits an uncovered talent. For instance, one of the YMCA teachers noticed me painting during our service project and asked if I were an artist. “Not really,” I said. “Oh, just by the way you’re holding that brush, I thought maybe you painted in your spare time,” she said. Ha! You know what? I do. I enjoy painting for fun and I guess I can be creative as a journalist, but I never really considered myself an artist. I guess I subconsciously recognized this strength and eagerly reached for the paintbrush when the duties were handed out to our volunteer group. It’s funny how I didn’t put two-and-two together until it was casually pointed out to me. Little moments like this turn into bigger, deeper moments for AmeriCorps and C2C members who do this day-in and day-out. Not only do they give back to the community, they give back to themselves. They discover a passion for something, whether it’s mentoring kids or working with the elderly. They find profounder meaning in their lives and, in turn, want to complete their education so they can start their careers in that particular field.
“You can only get so much in the classroom. You need to actually go out and mingle in the community because that’s who you’re going to serve after you graduate,” said Carlene Webb, AmeriCorps VISTA member and Service Learning Coordinator for the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy at Miami Dade College.
So there you go. I went straight to the sources of service-learning to find out how and why it can encourage students to succeed in college. It didn’t take long to discover the strong correlation between the two. In fact, I witnessed it up-close, on my knees with a paintbrush.
~Click here to see more pictures from the 2012 AmeriCorps & Connect2Complete Service Retreat
~Follow Florida College Access Network on twitter @FloridaGoal2025
Posted on July 20th, 2012 No comments
By Troy Miller, Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst, Florida College Access Network
Last week the U.S. Department of Education released new Census data on degree attainment for young adults aged 25-34 for all states, showing a half-percentage point increase nationally from 38.8% to 39.3% from 2009 to 20101. During the same time, degree attainment for young adults went down one-tenth of a percentage point in Florida, from 36.3% to 36.2%. What exactly does this mean?
Degree attainment data is based on responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which asks its survey participants to indicate the highest level of education they have completed. To get the degree attainment rate for young adults, the number of survey respondents aged 25-34 who indicate that they earned a college degree (an associate’s degree or higher) is divided by the total population of residents who fall within that age cohort. The mathematical outcome of a decrease in the percentage of young adults with college degrees in Florida from one year to the next could be the result of several different circumstances. A closer look at the Census data suggests that both the number of young adults with and without degrees decreased from 2009 to 20102.
Table 1: Degree attainment rate for young adults (aged 25-34) in Florida: 2009-2010
Young adults in FL with a college degree
Young adults in FL without a college degree
All young adults in FL
Source: U.S. Department of Education
How could this happen? One hypothesis for this decrease is, as a state, Florida has produced fewer degrees. This is not the case. Table 2 shows that in 2009, degree-granting institutions in Florida conferred 171,257 degrees. In 2010, the number of degrees earned rose to 184,277 – an increase of 7.6 percent3. This rise in degree production from 2009 to 2010 is the second highest year-to-year increase Florida has seen since 2003. In addition to this recent increase, degree production levels in Florida have increased every year, with the exception of one (1998-99), since 19934.
Table 2: Total postsecondary degrees conferred in Florida: 1993-2010
Source: National Center for Education Statistics via Postsecondary Education Opportunity
To put these degree completion numbers into context, let’s compare Florida to the rest of the nation. Degree production levels for Florida’s degree-granting institutions in 2010 were 98 percent higher than what they were in 1993. For the rest of the nation, degree production rose 55 percent. If, as a state, Florida is increasing its levels of degree production at higher rates than the rest of the country, then how do we explain the decrease in degree attainment levels cited by the U.S. Department of Education?
By scratching past the surface we can begin to see just how complex of an issue this really is. First, relating the NCES “degree production” data to the Census “degree attainment” data causes some problems. For example, the NCES data doesn’t tell us which of these students are earning their first degree5 and we also don’t know how old students are when they graduate (which makes placing students into Census-defined age-cohorts a challenge). Second, because the Census “degree attainment” data reflects all people living in Florida, changes in population are significant. In any given year, changes in migration (which can be influenced by a multitude of scenarios not having anything to do with higher education productivity) can affect a state’s degree attainment rate. In other words, improvements in degree production, and its impact on a state’s degree attainment rate, can be cancelled out or masked by changes in the population. The Census “degree attainment” data also does not count certificate holders as people who have attained a postsecondary degree. This is important for Florida because our state awards the fifth most certificates (per capita) in the nation. Despite certificates being a postsecondary credential, many of which lead to demonstrable returns on employment and earnings, they aren’t counted in federal statistics and international rankings.
So what does last week’s U.S. Department of Education data mean for Florida? Due to the limitations of the data sources6, my conclusion is that the degree attainment rate has in essence stayed the same. This is unfortunate, because as shown in Table 2, we should be celebrating one of Florida’s most productive years in degree production in the last twenty years! The increase in degrees we saw from 2009 to 2010 of 7.6 percent is right on pace with what we need to help our state reach widely accepted national goals. Despite the current status of our degree attainment rate for young adults, this discussion reflects the real challenges our state faces in implementing policies that will have a substantive impact and “move the needle” on this metric. Institutions can enroll more students, but they must also improve the rate at which their students finish their degrees. And while institutions can graduate more students, Florida must also provide benefits to improve the quality of life to its residents (high paying jobs, good schools, high quality transportation system, etc.) which will compel its young graduates to stay in state (and attract others to come here).
In order to improve the level of college degree attainment among an entire age cohort, such as young adults, there is not a single lever to pull which will get us from where we are to where we need to be to meet projected workforce demands, improve our ranking among economically developed nations and make possible the kind of lifestyle and opportunities that earning a college degree can present to a broad range of people. To see discernible improvements in the future, we will need our institutions, state agencies, lawmakers, businesses, local governments and communities to work collectively around these issues to ensure that our next in line has the ability to not only access and earn a high-quality degree, but sees an incentive to stay, earn a living, and contribute to Florida’s future.
What might future data releases by the U.S. Department of Education look like? There are reasons to be optimistic. Our public college and university systems have recently set assertive goals to increase degree production levels. The Higher Education Coordinating Council and Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform will be continuing their work throughout the year to examine ways our state’s postsecondary institutions can be improved. There are a handful of efforts currently being implemented in Florida to assist young adults who left college early to help them return and complete their degrees. The college-going rates for Florida’s high school graduates have improved dramatically. All of these efforts should translate into a higher proportion of young adults with a postsecondary education in the future, but recent years should be proof that the only way to substantially increase state-wide degree attainment rates is through collective effort and collaboration among a broad range of sectors.
~Follow Troy Miller on twitter @TroyMillerFCAN
1The Census data used by the U.S. Department of Education refers to associate’s degrees and higher and are based on population estimates. To learn more about margins of error and how these estimates are calculated, check out this website.
2Figures provided from the U.S. Department of Education were used to calculate the total number of young adults without college degrees.
3National Center for Education Statistics data on the number of degrees conferred gathered by Postsecondary Education Opportunity.
4Young adults aged 35 in 2010 may have earned a degree as far back as 1993.
5The NCES data captures all degrees awarded while the Census data only captures the highest degree attained by each survey respondent. If a 30 year old in Florida earned a Master’s degree in 2010, s/he would increase the number of college degrees awarded in our state for that year. That same degree earned would not increase the degree attainment rate for young adults in Florida, because they would have already earned a bachelor’s degree. Students earning their second college degrees (or more) do not positively impact the state’s degree attainment rate.
6Data obtained from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida actually shows a 1.4% increase in the young adult population from 2009 to 2010, compared to the 2.01% decrease the Census data reflects.
Posted on July 6th, 2012 No comments
Tampa, FL- Leaders from all sectors convened on May 11, 2012 in Tampa, for the first annual Florida College Access & Success Summit. Approximately 130 attendees gathered for a call-to-action around an agenda to improve postsecondary success for all students. They also learned about state policy trends, Goal 2025, college access & success strategies from higher education, business, and community leaders.
Watch the entire Florida College Access & Success Summit filmed by The Florida Channel.
Posted on June 22nd, 2012 1 comment
~A new government tracking tool shows the majority of Florida high school seniors failed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before the school year ended~
According to a Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!) analysis of federal data, only 37.8-percent of high school seniors in Florida completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as of June 10, 2012. Although this number is up from 21-percent in March, it still shows 62.2-percent of Florida’s 12th graders failed to complete the form for the 2012-13 academic year.
It’s been more than three months since the U.S. Department of Education unveiled the FAFSA Completion Tool website, which tracks how many students in each high school across the country, both public and private, are submitting and completing the FAFSA.
With tuition and overall college costs on the rise, access to financial aid can be a deciding factor for those considering college. By filling out a FAFSA, a student can find out if he or she is eligible for financial aid such as Pell Grants, federal student loans and work study opportunities.
For Florida students, completing the FAFSA is also important because it has been made a requirement for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which can award students attending a Florida college or university up to $3,000 during their first year.
A completed FAFSA must be submitted before the Bright Futures Scholarship money is disbursed and the deadline for eligible Bright Futures students to submit their completed FAFSA for the fall 2012 semester is August 31st.
Research shows one of the main reasons students fail to fill out a FAFSA is because they don’t think they’re eligible. Other reasons include fear of more debt, lack of information or misinformation on how or when to apply and viewing the forms as tedious and cumbersome.
“There are many deadlines posted throughout the internet that can be misinterpreted or could discourage students to apply for aid,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director for the Florida College Access Network. “The application is free and doesn’t require contracts or commitments to institutions, so simply seeing what money is available can help students and their families determine whether college will be affordable to them,” said Colón.
While deadlines for some sources of money have passed, students can still complete a FAFSA and receive a Pell Grant or be offered loans depending on their eligibility.
“Not only do we need to better inform our students about the importance of completing and submitting the FAFSA, we also need to think about how we can help students and parents through the process, particularly during the summer months,” said Colón.
The new FAFSA Completion Tool is updated every two weeks. For a Florida-specific data set listing FAFSA completion by school, click here.
Posted on June 8th, 2012 No comments
~New report highlights Florida higher education institutions ranked in the top 25 nationally for graduating Latinos in health care fields~
Tampa, FL– Florida comes out on top in a report recently released by one of Florida College Access Network’s national partners. Excelencia in Education’s “Finding Your Workforce: The Top 25 Institutions Graduating Latinos in Health Professions and Related Programs by Academic Level” provides an analysis of the top 25 institutions graduating Hispanics in health care fields nationally. The project’s goal is to help employers recruit recent Latino degree recipients in key sectors.
In the second report of the “Finding Your Workforce” series, Florida awarded the second highest total number of health care-related degrees or certificates to Latinos during the 2009 to 2010 school year. Among its national peers, Florida only followed second to Puerto Rico in this measure. Florida institutions making the top 25 in the nation include Florida International University, Miami Dade College, University of South Florida, University of Florida and University of Central Florida.
Florida International University ranks #1 in the nation for the total number of bachelor degrees it awards Hispanics in health professions or related programs. FIU also ranks second in health-related master degrees, and 24th in doctoral degrees awarded to Latinos in health professions during the 2009-10 school year.
The report also shows Miami Dade College awards more health care-related associate degrees to Latinos than any other institution in the country. Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale ranks second in the same category.
University of South Florida’s main Tampa campus ranks high nationally on two lists: #20 in master degrees and #25 in doctoral degrees awarded to Latinos in health professions.
The University of Florida scores high in the report as well, placing 3rd for professional degrees, 13th for master degrees, 14th for doctoral degrees and 20th for bachelor degrees it awarded to Hispanics in health professions or related programs.
The University of Central Florida is in at #6 of U.S. institutions awarding the most bachelor degrees to Latinos in health fields.
Private universities round out the top 25 as well, including Nova Southeastern University which beats out all other national institutions that award health care-related professional degrees to Latinos. The University of Miami is 16th on that same list.
Other Florida institutions in the top 25 of all health care academic levels are Barry University, Broward College, Florida Career College-Miami, Florida National College, Fortis College-Miami, Medvance Institute and Professional Training Centers.
“This report highlights the tremendous achievement and success of our Hispanic students in Florida,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director for the Florida College Access Network. “Most importantly, the report underscores the amazing talent that’s here ready to compete in the growing health care industry,” said Colón.
“Finding Your Workforce” is a project of Excelencia in Education’s national initiative “Ensuring America’s Future.” The “Finding Your Workforce” series will include future reports revealing and analyzing the top 25 institutions enrolling and graduating Latinos in other key sectors, such as science, technology, engineering, math, business, education and liberal arts.
Posted on May 24th, 2012 No comments
~New report highlights what initiatives are currently underway and offers recommendations for improving success for non-traditional students~
Currently, more than 2.1 million Florida residents have completed some college without earning a degree— representing nearly 22 percent of the state’s working-age population. With recent research projecting 59 percent of all jobs in Florida requiring a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by the year 2018, it’s imperative Florida engage these former students and provide incentives and flexible reentry options for them to return to college and earn their degree.
The Florida C.A.N.! policy brief also provides information on initiatives currently underway in Florida to support adults returning to college and offers recommendations for reaching more adult residents.
“Florida will not reach the degree attainment rate required to compete in the new economy unless we do more to support adult students and re-engage former college students,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director for the Florida College Access Network.
“We hope this report continues to raise awareness of the importance of this issue and encourages adoption of policies that lead to an increase in college degree attainment among adults in our state,” said Colón.
Posted on May 22nd, 2012 No comments
Posted on May 1st, 2012 No comments
~State Representative Will Weatherford will serve as keynote speaker at the Florida College Access & Success Summit on May 11th in Tampa~
The summit will take place Friday, May 11th from 9am-2pm at the University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center in Tampa. All organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in helping Florida significantly increase its college degree attainment rate are invited to participate.
Representative Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, will serve as the keynote speaker during the summit’s opening plenary session and will provide important insight from a state policy perspective on the future of higher education in Florida under the context that today more and more jobs in Florida require some form of postsecondary education.
According to a recent Georgetown study, by 2018, 59% of all jobs in Florida will require a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential. Yet, only 37% of working-age adults in Florida today hold a 2-year or 4-year degree. If Florida continues to increase degree attainment at the rate it did over the last decade, the state will have a college degree attainment rate of 43-percent in the year 2025 —far short of the 60-percent required by Florida labor market demand estimates.
The Florida College Access & Success Summit will address this degree attainment gap as it convenes leaders from all sectors for a call-to-action around an agenda to improve college & career readiness, access, and completion for all students. The Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!) is organizing the summit.
“We are thrilled to have Representative Weatherford participate as our keynote speaker,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director for Florida C.A.N.!. “It’s extremely important that our network partners have an opportunity to hear directly from state leadership on the future policy direction in higher education, especially as Florida moves toward more collaboration as a strategy for solving some of our most difficult challenges,” said Colón.
Representative Weatherford serves as Chair of the Education Policy Council and has spearheaded many important legislative issues with a particular focus on advancing school choice and improving education accountability. In addition to his state service, Representative Weatherford serves on organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida, Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Commission on Open Government, Goodwill Industries, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, Jobs for America’s Graduates, Pasco County Take Stock in Children Program, The Fund for American Studies, Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Housing Ventures, Inc., and Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.
The Florida College Access & Success summit’s detailed agenda, including the schedule, speakers and travel accommodations can be found here.
Posted on April 24th, 2012 No comments
~The Florida College Access & Success Summit will feature a panel discussion on the importance of goal-setting in accelerating high-quality degree production in FL~
Tampa, FL- It’s no secret Florida’s labor market is demanding more high-skilled workers. As a result, the demand for graduates earning high-quality postsecondary degrees is rising in Florida and across the United States.
On May 11th in Tampa, the Florida College Access & Success Summit will feature a panel discussion titled “Goal 2025: Setting a Degree Attainment Goal for Florida”. The session is sponsored by the Lumina Foundation and will inform attendees of national and state policy trends, and the implications for Florida setting a statewide degree attainment goal as a strategy for meeting the increased demand for college graduates.
Featured panelists include Jeanna Keller Berdel, Program Officer for Lumina Foundation, Dr. Edwin Moore, President of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida Inc., Miguel del Valle, Chairman of the Illinois P-20 Council and Susan Pareigis, President & CEO of The Florida Council of 100. Gene Marshall, Vice Chair of NorthStar Bank & Chair of Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will moderate the panel discussion.
According to a recent study by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, by 2018, 59% of all jobs in Florida will require a high quality postsecondary degree or credential. Yet, only 37% of working-age adults in Florida today hold a 2-year or 4-year degree.
If Florida continues to increase degree attainment at the rate it did over the last decade, the state will have a college degree attainment rate of 43-percent in the year 2025 —far short of the 60-percent required by Florida labor market demand estimates. This degree attainment gap underscores the urgent need to raise awareness, build consensus across sectors, and mobilize communities to accelerate degree production in Florida.
The first step to increasing attainment is to set a specific state goal that can be used as a basis for all future decisions affecting higher education in the state. Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Arizona and Oregon have all set state goals for attainment. These states are already seeing a dramatic shift in the way higher education decisions are framed and addressed.
State goals lead to the alignment and mobilization of local resources and talents from different sectors to support students and institutional efforts to boost program completion and degree production rates. State goals for attainment also lead to the need for shared interim measures that help to point the way toward the eventual achievement of a state goal. The Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!) is promoting the adoption of a statewide degree attainment goal for Florida of 60% by the year 2025 based on future workforce demand.
“If we say we’re serious about positioning Florida to lead in the 21st century economy, then we’ve got to accelerate high-quality degree production and invest in our future talent pool,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director of Florida C.A.N!. “Accelerating degree production requires setting a clear goal that’s aligned with future labor market demand and one that calls on all sectors to help contribute their talents and resources to help get us there,” said Colón.
The Florida College Access & Success Summit convenes leaders from all sectors for a call-to-action around an agenda to improve college & career readiness, access, and completion for all students with the big goal of significantly increasing Florida’s college degree attainment rate from 37% to 60% by the year 2025.
The summit is organized by Florida C.A.N.! and will take place on Friday, May 11th from 9am-2pm at the University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center in Tampa. All organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in helping Florida significantly increase its college degree attainment rate are invited to participate.
The Florida College Access & Success summit’s detailed agenda, including the schedule, speakers and travel accommodations can be found here.