The message is simple: a college degree equals more opportunities for jobs. College graduates typically enjoy higher-paying careers and a better quality of life in the long run. In fact, college graduates earn more than $1 million over their lifetimes than those with just a high school diploma.
A college degree is quickly becoming even more valuable. Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce recently surveyed businesses across our state, and the results clearly showed that the quality of our two- and four-year college and university system was the No. 1 business climate strength in the state. Businesses are locating here and counting on our colleges and universities to produce quality graduates. This means our efforts to do more in preparing our students for higher education are on track. We must talk to students about college and prepare them so they can participate and succeed in our state’s economy.
Fallin, along with other education leaders, also announced recently that Oklahoma has joined a nationwide initiative, Complete College America, to increase our degree completion efforts by focusing on readiness (preparing earlier), reducing remediation rates and working with CareerTech to build bridges between technical certificates and college degrees.
Our state is working hard to help more students achieve their dreams of a college degree. We encourage you to join us in our efforts. We encourage you to discuss higher education with perspective college students you know who need guidance and support. Talk to them about how a college degree can help them achieve their dreams. For resources to start the conversation, visit OKcollegestart.org or call the student information hotline at 800-858-1840.
Glen D. Johnson is chancellor of the Oklahoma System of Higher Education comprised of 25 public colleges and universities.