West Virginia jumps on the ’60 percent goal’ bandwagon

This week, West Virginia joined the ever-growing list of states with a lofty postsecondary completion goal.

West Virginia leaders want 60 percent of adults to hold a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030.

“This is exceptionally critical for West Virginia’s economic future,” said Carolyn Long, interim chancellor for the Higher Education Policy Commission, according to The Register-Herald of Beckley, W.Va. “Employers, especially those looking to build their businesses in our state, must have a pool of employees who have a college degree. Without these types of educated workers in West Virginia, business and industry will have to look elsewhere.”

Perhaps fittingly, state leaders have called their campaign “West Virginia’s Climb.”

Only 34.7 percent of West Virginia’s adults hold a college degree or certificate, according to a February report from the Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based think tank. That ranked lowest in the nation. By comparison, 40.6 percent of Idaho adults hold a degree or certificate, ranking No. 45 in the nation.

Idaho also has its own version of a 60 percent goal — focused on 25- to 34-year-olds, with a 2025 target.

More reading: Click here for “Life After High School,” Idaho Education News’ award-winning series on the state’s struggles to meet its 60 percent goal. Idaho Education News will publish a followup series in November.

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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