ERIC Number: EJ883921
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: N/A
Can We Achieve Our National Higher-Education Goals?
Trusteeship, v17 n5 p24-28 Sep-Oct 2009
In several high-profile speeches this year, President Barack Obama has set an ambitious educational goal: By 2020, the United States will have the highest proportion of adults with a college degree in the world. The emphasis on education in both his proposed budget for fiscal 2010 and in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 demonstrates the seriousness and sincerity of his intentions. Although there has been significant analysis--and skepticism--as to the feasibility of reaching the president's goal within his stated timeframe, what must not be lost are the audacious aspirations he has put forth and their importance for the nation. Regardless of the specific benchmark--the president's goal of having the world's highest proportion of students graduating from college by 2020, the College Board's goal of a 55-percent college-completion rate by 2025, or something in between--achieving success rests on several factors. They include one's ability to rethink education as continuum rather than as a series of segments; the corresponding willingness to make strategic investments across the education spectrum; and the capacity to bring about fundamental change in the role played by higher education. If the nation is to move toward Obama's goal, this author stresses that it is incumbent on the higher-education community to reevaluate its structures, re-engineer its operations, place a much higher priority on affordability, access, and completion, and establish genuine partnerships with the K-12 community. Returning to the initial question about the "achievability" of goal, the author finds the answer to be self evident: If Americans stay on their current path, they will not be successful, but rather will find themselves with less than 30 percent of their young adults earning college degrees.
Descriptors: Educational Objectives, Academic Achievement, Young Adults, Presidents, Higher Education, Federal Legislation, Educational Attainment, Educational Attitudes, Role of Education, Benchmarking, Educational Finance, Ability, Paying for College, Student Costs, Access to Education
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site: http://www.agb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States