Eighty-seven percent of Oregonians over the age of 25 have a high school diploma, and only 27 percent of us have graduated from college. For years, educational leaders have pondered ways to grow those percentages, and in 2008, the Post Secondary Quality Education Commission laid the ground work (pdf) for a more educated Oregon with their 40/40/20 goal — that’s 40 percent of Oregonians with a bachelors degree, 40 percent with an associates degree or trade school, and 20 percent with only a high school diploma by the year 2025.
That means 100 percent of Oregonians should be graduating from high school or getting a GED before age 25. Things are looking better this year, but it’s still no easy task.
Numerous studies support the notion that a more educated population is more economically productive and less likely to rely on social services. But in a time of economic recession, will Oregon be able to accomplish this goal? Recession aside, is it possible? How does education affect the state of the economy?
Are you a college or high school dropout? What stood in your way? Are you a first-generation college student? What challenges have you faced? How would a more educated Oregon affect your life?
- Lyea Jeanette: Student at Portland Community College enrolled in the Gateway to College program
- Peter Collier: Associate professor of sociology at Portland State University and director of the Students First Mentoring Program
- Candice Vickers: Recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from Portland State University, currently working on a Masters degree in Education
- Duncan Wyse: Chair of the Oregon Board of Education and president of the Oregon Business Council