Seventy or bust? Rhode Island sets ambitious postsecondary goal

The tiny state of Rhode Island announced a big education goal Thursday.

Gov. Gina Raimondo wants 70 percent of her state’s residents to hold a college degree or professional certificate by 2025.

“We have an economic imperative to help more Rhode Islanders acquire the skills they need to fill the kinds of high-demand, high-wage jobs we want in our state,” said Raimondo, according to an article in Community College Daily.

The Rhode Island goal is akin to Idaho’s “60 percent goal,” which is aimed at improving the postsecondary completion rate for 25- to 34-year-olds.

And both states have plenty of ground to make up.

Rhode Island’s postsecondary completion rate now sits at 47 percent, according to Community College Daily — and the state will need to get tens of thousands of adult students into the postsecondary system, if it hopes to hit the 70 percent threshold.

As of 2015, Idaho’s postsecondary completion rate was mired at 42 percent. State leaders now hope to get to the 60 percent mark by 2025.

Rhode Island isn’t alone in setting a 70 percent goal. Vermont announced a similar initiative in October.

More reading: Check out our in-depth four-day series on Idaho’s struggles to reach the “60 percent goal.”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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