By Stephanie Daniel | May 6, 2019
Colorado jobs are changing. As early as next year, nearly 75 percent of employers will require some type of advanced degree. Right now, only about 57 percent of adults have a certificate, two-year or four-year college degree.
This discrepancy has prompted the Colorado Department of Higher Education to create a master plan to help residents go to and graduate from a postsecondary institution.
“If we can begin to have a movement where people are aware of this and that they realize how important it is to get that certificate or get that credential,” said Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “Because of the earning power that it will give to them and then of course that will boost our economy.”
But is this goal possible?
Colorado ranks near the bottom quarter of states for K-12 per-pupil funding. Over the past decade, state funding for higher education has decreased by almost 10 percent and students pay over $4,000 more to go to public colleges and universities.
The Department of Higher Education is focused on four goals to help increase the state’s postsecondary attainment rate: increase credential completion, erase equity gaps, improve student success and invest in affordability and innovation.
“We really have to be intentional about sharing what’s possible and that there are so many avenues, there’s so many pathways to a successful career,” Paccione said.
This series explores various programs that are filling the funding and support gaps to help the Department of Higher Education achieve its goal.
Hire Me: Educating Colorado’s Changing Workforce was produced with support from the Education Writers Association Reporting Fellowship program.