Utah recognizes the economic benefit of a well-educated workforce. Prosperity through Education, the five-year statewide plan for education, points to research that shows that a person’s earning power and society’s wealth are tied to educational achievement. The plan calls for taking Utah to the top 10 states in the nation for percentage of adults with a postsecondary certificate or degree.  The plan endorses performance measures that reward institutions based on college completion rates. The Utah State Auditor’s office recently analyzed more than a decade of records related to student performance to look for good metrics of performance.
“A knowledgeable and skilled workforce helps drive innovation and growth within the economy. Higher education provides many individuals with access to well-paying jobs and opportunities for a high quality of life,” states the State Auditor’s Office report. But too few Utah students are prepared for higher education and not enough earn degrees. Utah is lagging behind other states in graduation rates–only 47% of student graduate within 6 years of enrolling.
The report suggests steps to improving graduation rates and finds that various performance measures are highly correlated with college graduation. Recommendations include: 1) clearly communicating to students the factors that lead to increased college graduation, and 2) redesigning the system of remediation. Read more…