Higher ed priorities find synergy with workforce innovations

DHE Bluepring2016More Missourians than ever before are earning a postsecondary credential; however, more must be done to provide all students with opportunities to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in a rapidly changing world. Those opening words included in the Executive Summary for Missouri’s new Blueprint for Higher Education point toward the agency embracing post-secondary credentials in the workforce of the future.

To help meet Missouri’s growing higher education needs, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education has adopted a new coordinated plan for the state’s postsecondary education system. Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education, focuses on five key goals and includes strategies to achieve each goal.

Goal 1.1 of the blueprint has high synergy with Missouri’s WIOA strategies for career pathways. Implement new policies and initiatives that help all students earn a degree or certificate in less time and at less cost, while enabling graduates to enter the workforce sooner. Tactics (italics added for emphasis of workforce alignment) include:

  • Eliminate remedial education in favor of co-requisite models and similar proven methods.
  • Develop clear and lower-cost pathways to degrees and certificates.
  • Expand agreements to support the seamless transfer of academic credits.
  • Expand alternative modes of delivery, including early-college programs, online, credit for prior learning, and competency-based education.
  • Organize an information campaign to encourage students to seek full-time enrollment (defined here as 15 credit hours a semester).

To view the full plan, visit dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php. The blueprint’s 28 individual tactics span across five different categories of strategies.

  • Attainment: Missouri will increase the proportion of working-age adults with high-quality, affordable postsecondary credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
  • Affordability: Missouri will rank among the 10 most affordable states in which to obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2025.
  • Quality: Missouri will produce graduates with high-quality postsecondary degrees and certificates that are valuable and relevant to individuals, employers, communities and the state.
  • Research & Innovation: Missouri will be a top 10 state for investment in academic research by 2025.
  • Investment, Advocacy & Partnerships: Missouri will promote greater investment in a culture of postsecondary education through increased advocacy and powerful partnerships with education, business, government and communities.