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September 25, 2014 - Oklahoma Exceeds Complete College America Year-Two Goal

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Committed to help drive the state’s economy by providing a more educated workforce, Oklahoma’s public and private higher education institutions and career technology centers have significantly exceeded their Complete College America (CCA) year-two goal.

Oklahoma’s goal for CCA is to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned by an average of 1,700 per year, from 30,500 annually in 2011 to 50,900 annually by 2023. In year two of the initiative, Oklahoma’s postsecondary institutions surpassed the annual goal, conferring 3,577 additional degrees and certificates. In the first year, the number of degrees and certificates awarded also exceeded the annual goal, increasing by 2,945.

“Oklahoma’s economy is moving in the right direction,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “In fact, since 2011 we’ve been able to create over 100,000 new jobs. For that forward momentum to continue, we know we need to ensure Oklahomans have the skills and education they need for an increasingly competitive job market. I’m proud that we’ve been able to increase the number of degrees and certificates awarded by thousands each year, significantly surpassing our goals. Ultimately, that is going to lead to better jobs and higher wages for hardworking Oklahomans.” 

Oklahoma’s CCA efforts are designed to ensure production of a highly skilled, college-educated workforce to attract and retain good jobs and help grow the state’s economy.

“Our public and private colleges and universities and career technology centers continue to exceed our expectations with results beyond our state’s annual degree and certificate completion goal,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Although we have made substantial strides, we know we still have a journey ahead of us. CCA is a 12-year effort, and meeting our definitive degree completion goal will be a marathon, not a sprint. We remain fully committed to this crucial initiative and will continue working with our state policy leaders and our college, university and technology center campuses toward a 67 percent increase in the number of degrees and certificates conferred by 2023.”

“If Oklahoma's economy is to continue to grow, it is critical that we continue empowering our students and instructors to close the skills gap through high-quality workforce education,” said Marcie Mack, Interim Director of the Department of Career Technology and Education. “I look forward to continuing to build our partnerships with career and technology centers, colleges and universities to reach and surpass the postsecondary degree goals of Complete College America.”

Oklahoma’s five-point plan to increase degree and certificate completion has led to CCA naming Oklahoma the national model. The state plan focuses on promoting college readiness, transforming remediation, strengthening pathways to certificates and degrees, expanding adult degree completion efforts, and rewarding performance and completion.

Established in 2009, CCA is a national nonprofit organization working to significantly increase the number of Americans with a college degree. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for Education, CCA focuses on state policy change and building consensus among state leaders, higher education and the national education policy community. Oklahoma is a member of the CCA Alliance of States, and CCA is integral to Gov. Fallin’s National Governor’s Association initiative, America Works.