On September 4th, Governor Haslam challenged our state with a critical new mission: the Drive to 55. No….It is not a driving program for mature workers.
Statistics indicated that by 2025, 55% of the jobs in Tennessee will require a credential or degree beyond the high school level. Currently only 32% of Tennesseans have achieved this academic success. We lag behind the national averages in residents with higher education, ranking 42nd in working adults with certificates and degrees. Tennesseans with a college degree or technical certificate increase their earning potential with each credential they obtain beyond the high school level, with bachelor’s degree recipients ultimately earning up to 75 percent more than high school graduates.
For the Drive to 55 campaign to be successful, we must achieve an additional 494,000 credentials by the year 2025.
What are the strategies?
Get students ready. Reduce the need for remedial courses; boost participation in dual enrollment and dual credit classes.
Get students in. Improve mentoring and guidance. Reduce financial barriers, especially to community colleges and colleges of applied technology.
Get students out. Enhance programs to increase graduation rates.
Finish. Create new programs for the 940,000+ adults with some college but no degree.
Create alignment and accountability. All departments, educational institutions and employers will work together to identify skills gaps of the future and proactively fill them.
“We have to make college education accessible, affordable and tailored to the needs of our students….to have the best trained workforce in America” stated Governor Haslam.