Texas Gets Ambitious, Wanting Twice The Workers With College Degrees | KERA News

Texas Gets Ambitious, Wanting Twice The Workers With College Degrees

Jul 23, 2015

Today, the state set some fairly ambitious goals today: it wants three of every five employed Texans to have college degrees within fifteen years. We’re not close now.  The Commissioner of Higher Education explains.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board needed a new 15 year goal since the old one, Closing the Gaps, ends this year. The new one is called 60x30TX. That means a goal of  60% of Texans, aged 25 to 34, will have college degrees or certificates by the year 2030. Now, 38% have degrees or certificates.

“It’s an ambition goal but I think it’s achievable,” says  Raymund Paredes, Texas Higher Education Commissioner.  

“I think it’s a stretch but I think it’s something we should aspire to. It’s that level of education we’re going to need in order to be economically competitive. I think we can stretch a little bit more and get even better results.”

The Commissioner says Closing the Gaps closed some gaps: more high school graduates finished college than before the plan, which launched in 2000.  Numbers especially improved for minorities. But the state will need to shift gears to reach that 60% goal college degree goal by 2030. He says Texas will need to do what it’s mostly failed to so far.

“We’ve got several hundred thousand young people in Texas who’ve accumulated 50 or more hours of credit at public colleges or universities and they’ve never finished a degree. We need to go back and attract those students and get them  to finish their credentials,” Paredes says.

Details of the new 60x30TX plan are due out this fall.