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A lot more Americans Getting College Degrees

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As the global demand for postsecondary skills and information continues to increase, a new report through Lumina Foundation shows that America accomplished its largest year-over-year increase in education attainment since 2008. While the momentum is encouraging, other countries continue to be outpacing the U. S. in educational achievement, and persistent collateral gaps remain that must be addressed through a redesign of America’s higher education system.

According to the report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, 39. 4 percent of working-age Americans (ages 25-64) held a two- or four-year college degree in 2012—the most recent year for which data are available. That figure is up from last year, when the rate was 38. 7 percent, and from 2008, when the rate was 37. 9 %. The 0. 7 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 demonstrates the largest year-over-year increase since 2008.

The latest degree attainment among young adults (ages 25-34) can be even more optimistic at 40. nine percent, which is three percentage factors higher than 2008. If attainment is constantly on the increase at these levels, and once better data on certificate attainment is factored in, Goal 2025—increasing the particular percentage of Americans with top quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025—is within reach. Preserving this level of increase in attainment by means of 2025 is a significant challenge, however , and requires that the U. Ersus. higher education system be redesigned to target more effectively on students and learning.

The More powerful Nation report shows that big education attainment gaps continue to exist by competition. Asian adults (ages 25-64) guide all races with 59. thirty-five percent degree attainment (up through 59. 13 percent) and whites follow with 43. 87 % attainment (up from 43. thirty percent). Black adults rank third with 27. 62 percent attainment (down from 27. 14 percent), Native American adults rank 4th with 23. 43 percent (up from 23. 07 percent), plus Hispanics rank fifth with 19. 81 percent attainment (up through 19. 31 percent).

More encouraging is the fact that the college-going rate for blacks increased through 62. 0 percent to 67. 1 percent—an impressive single-year boost. And the college-going rate for Hispanics shot up even more—increasing from fifty nine. 7 percent to 66. 6 percent. Yet, participation rates nevertheless differ significantly based on income. While 82. 4 percent of possible students (of all races) within the top third of the income size enroll in college, only 53. 5 percent of those in the bottom third achieve this.

Despite the positive momentum in the U. S., international comparative data produced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) displays the U. S. is still lagging behind its global competitors. The united states now ranks a disappointing 11th in global postsecondary attainment, but the pace of attainment among younger adults is even more troubling. According to the OECD data, an astounding 64 % of young adults (ages 25-34) in South Korea have completed schooling beyond high school. Those rates in Japan and Canada are approaching 60 percent, while young adults within the U. S. are hovering just above 40 percent.

Recent data shows Americans are concerned about the country’s low attainment rates and they are ready for leaders to do some thing about it. The latest Gallup/Lumina poll discovered that 90 percent of Americans believe it’s important to increase the rate of college attainment in America. And fifth 89 percent of Americans report that higher education institutions need to change to higher serve the needs of today’s students.

The redesign better education of America is in its early stages, and leaders at Lumina believe for the effort to be successful plus sustainable, it must meet 3 basic requirements: Base postsecondary qualifications, including degrees, on learning; Make smarter pathways for all students; Make higher education accessible and affordable to any or all who need it.

In order to make the results of postsecondary learning more transparent to employers, education institutions and students, Lumina has developed the amount Qualifications Profile (DQP) which is a common framework for defining the learning outcomes better education across all programs, institutions and degrees. That tool, yet others including alternatives to the time-based credit score hour approach, are a key component of system redesign, according to the Lumina document.

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