By Rochelle Hendricks Secretary of Higher Education
As 2017 draws to a close, it is time for us to reflect on the progress we have made and the challenges ahead of us. A few weeks ago, my office hosted an event entitled, “65 by ’25… Many Paths, One Future: The Equity Imperative,” at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton. We heard an enlightening address from Dr. Michael T. Nettles, ETS senior vice president for research, and recognized four New Jersey programs for excellence and equity in education.
In New Jersey, we have announced a campaign to increase the number of working adults who have some level of education or training beyond high school. By 2025, our goal is to have 65 percent of our workforce attain a postsecondary credential – a steep increase from the current 50.2 percent.
While highlighting data in his recently released report, “Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving the National Postsecondary Degree Attainment Goals,” Dr. Nettles, as he always does, told it to us straight. We are a nation facing complex, systemic problems. He shared some disturbing, dismal data demonstrating how diverse populations have been adversely impacted, but also provided data about programs around the country that are achieving positive, dramatic results.