Governor Mike Beebe linked the future economic well being of Arkansans with attainment of higher education in his weekly radio address. Arkansas is near the bottom of the list of states in adults with college degrees, ranking 49th.
Governor Beebe voiced a timeline for improvement in his address.
“By the year 2025 – the same year I want to have doubled our graduation rate – the United States is projected to reach a shortfall of nearly 24 million degree-holders. According to a report from the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, that shortage amounts to $600 billion in lost wages,” said Beebe.
Beebe noted Arkansas has made considerable improvements since the early 1990s, when only one in eight held bachelor's degrees. Now one in five Arkansans hold bachelor's degrees or higher. Beebe said he believes a shift in focus will help future students attain employment.
“Our growing emphasis in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as the STEM fields, will prepare more students for emerging fields of employment,” said Beebe.
The Governor asserted programs rewarding teachers and access to scholarships have worked to boost performance.