Committed to help drive the state’s economy by providing a more educated workforce, Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities have exceeded their Complete College America year-one goals.
Preliminary data from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education shows that 1,941 more degrees and certificates were awarded during the 2011-12 academic year at Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities than in 2010-11. This represents a 94 percent increase over the original goal of 1,000 degrees and certificates. The addition of degrees and certificates from private institutions and the Oklahoma CareerTech system will further increase the year-one totals.
“In year one, we are ahead of schedule on our goal to produce at least 50,900 degrees and certificates per year by 2023 by nearly doubling what we had set as our public higher education goal for the first year of the Complete College America initiative,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “We will continue working with our elected officials and the business community to provide an educated workforce and help grow our state’s economy,” said Johnson.
The report shows that the state’s community colleges saw the largest increase by producing 1,225 more degrees and certificates with a goal of 281. Research universities, with a goal of 406 degrees and certificates, experienced an increase of 489. Regional universities, with a goal of 313, saw an increase of 227.
At the inception of the initiative, state colleges and universities annually awarded 30,500 degrees. CCA aims to increase that number 67 percent so that by 2023 Oklahoma colleges and universities will annually award 50,900 college degrees. During the 2011-12 academic year, state colleges and universities awarded 33,499 degrees and certificates.
Major initiatives toward this goal are already under way: working with K-12 by focusing on college readiness, transforming remediation, expanding collaboration with CareerTech, enhancing adult degree completion efforts and tracking and rewarding improvements in degree completion.
As a result of Oklahoma’s high-level of collaboration, policy framework and long-term commitment to completion goal, CCA has designated Oklahoma as its national model for degree completion.
Established in 2009, CCA is a national nonprofit organization working to significantly increase the number of Americans with a college degree. The organization focuses on state policy change and building consensus among state leaders, higher education and the national education policy community.
Oklahoma is a member of the CCA Alliance of States and has adopted the National Governor’s Association Complete to Compete principles as part of a unified economic policy initiative that includes the governor’s office, higher education, business and industry.