Oklahoma's Complete College America (CCA) five-point plan to increase degree and certificate completion led CCA to name Oklahoma a national model for degree completion. Our 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.
Graduation rates in Oklahoma higher education have risen more than 11% over the last 10 years, driving the state’s economy by providing a more educated workforce. Within that growth is an exceptional increase in high-paying, high-demand STEM and health professions degrees. In the last decade, STEM degrees have increased by nearly 29%, and health professions degrees have increased by more than 26%.
Oklahoma has also made a concentrated effort to reengage adult students. The State Regents’ Reach Higher adult degree completion programs provide welcoming environments with specialized advising and support systems for adult students to return and complete degrees in high-demand fields. To date, more than 10,000 students have completed a degree in the Reach Higher program. Grant funding enabled expansion of specialized supports for Oklahoma adult learners and development of a prior learning assessment website, ShowWhatYouKnowOK.org , which empowers adults to earn college credit for knowledge gained through work and life experiences, non-degree-granting institutions, military training, or other learning environments.
At the national level, five foundations are providing multiyear support to Complete College America: the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education.