In line with the priorities set forth by the Obama administration and the Lumina Foundation, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) released a report outlining the goals and policy initiatives needed to propel the 16 Southern states to 60% postsecondary degree and certificate attainment by the year 2025.
In the preface to No Time to Waste, SREB President Dave Spence points to the looming gap in America between the need for educated workers and the lagging production rates at the U.S. institutions. “By 2018, the United States will fall far short of the number of new college degrees needed for an emerging economy that increasingly depends on workers with postsecondary education,” Spence wrote.
The report recommends that states develop a clear vision for 60% completion, augment affordability initiatives to allow for increased access to higher education and re-evaluate secondary education outcomes to ensure that high school graduates are ready for postsecondary education and training. No Time to Waste also recommends that states tie budget allocations to the meeting of completion goals. This approach, the report argues, will “hold presidents, chancellors and state higher education agencies responsible” and ultimately enable the effort to be successful.
In addition to highlighting policy priorities for states as they strive for 60% completion, No Time to Waste minces no words in entreating SREB-member states to “make college completion a top priority and create a statewide plan for improvement with detailed goals, roles and responsibilities.”