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RICHMOND - Virginia public and private nonprofit institutions awarded 119,934 degrees and certificates in 2015-16 – a state record.
That total represents a 3.8% increase over the previous year’s total of 115,577.
The growth of awards is an important measure of progress toward The Virginia Plan for Higher Education’s objective to be the best-educated state by 2030 and the goal of the General Assembly’s Top Jobs 21 legislation to award 100,000 additional in-state degrees by 2025.
Of the 119,234 awards, 73% were from public institutions (45% from four-year and 28% from two-year). Three in four awards were for undergraduates in the form of bachelor's and associate’s degrees or certificates.
“By increasing the number of Virginians with postsecondary degrees and certificates, we are building a stronger future for all,” said Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. “Earning an education after high school is an important step toward success in the 21st century.”
According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, over 95% of jobs created during the economic recovery have gone to college-educated workers, while those with high school diplomas or less are being left behind.
BEST-EDUCATED STATE BY 2030
As part of the objective to become the best-educated state by 2030 through The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV estimates that public and private nonprofit institutions would need to award 1.5 million undergraduate degrees and workforce credentials such as certificates. The most recent tally indicates the Commonwealth is on track to meet that goal with 1% annual growth.
The General Assembly’s Top Jobs 21 legislation set a goal to award 100,000 additional in-state undergraduate degrees by 2025, an interim step toward the goal of making Virginia the best-educated state.
For more details on the awards, visit www.schev.edu/index/reports/schev-reports/degree-and-certificate-completions.
Full agenda and meeting materials are available at http://www.schev.edu/index/agency-info/council-information/agenda-books.
Media resources including news advisories and releases are available at www.schev.edu/media
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan: schev.edu/index/statewide-strategic-plan
Note: Earlier versions included an incorrect total for graduates. The correct figure is 119,934.