Georgia’s public colleges and universities will spend the next year finding new ways to raise the number of students who graduate on time. That effort is part of a new plan announced Thursday morning by Governor Nathan Deal. The governor said the goal is to help prepare for a future in which 60 percent of jobs require post-secondary degrees.
"It really doesn’t do us a lot of good to have people entering our colleges and technical schools if they don’t get a degree coming forth," Deal said. "Because it is generally that degree that is the entrée into a better job opportunity."
Right now, less than a quarter of students who enroll in public two-year degree programs finish on time. And less than half of students in four-year colleges graduate in six years or less. But by 2018, the governor, more than 60 percent of jobs in the state will require a post-secondary degree.
"And to meet this demand, we must increase the number of students who first of all have access to our higher education, and we must ensure that these students graduate in a timely fashion," Deal said.
Deal also proposed restructuring five of the state’s technical colleges to be friendlier to students who work while they attend school.
The plan will be bolstered by a million-dollar grant from a Gates Foundation-funded initiative. The money will go to pilot new, more personalized services to students who enter college needing remediation in core subjects.