A new report from the Lumina Foundation shows that Michigan’s post-secondary attainment rate has grown from 45 percent to 45.5 percent from 2017 to 2018, an improvement that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says highlights the need for increased educational programs.
The rate of educational attainment measures how many adults between the ages of 25 and 64 have education that extends beyond high school. Of the 45.5 percent of Michigan adults that have post-secondary education, four percent have a certificate, 10.3 percent have an associate degree, 19.6 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 11.6 percent have a graduate or professional degree.
Despite the small improvement from 2017 to 2018, Michigan still falls below the national average of 48.8 percent for post-secondary education. The state currently ranks 33rd nationally for education attainment, Whitmer’s office said, and falls below the average for other states in the Great Lakes area. Michigan’s overall rate of educational attainment has increased by nearly 10 percentage points since 2008, with the inclusion of workforce certificates beginning in 2014, according to Lumina.
Whitmer said the slight improvement highlights the need for Michigan Reconnect, a workforce development program designed to pave a tuition-free pathway to a in-demand industry certificate or associate degree for Michigan residents older than 25.
“To build an economy that works for everyone, we need to ensure everyone has a path to a good-paying job,” Whitmer said in a statement. “While this report shows Michigan is moving in the right direction toward our postsecondary goal, we must do more to help Michiganders get the skills they need to compete.
“Increasing access to education beyond high school is fundamental to the growth of our economy and prosperity of our residents,” said Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio in a statement. “The progress we’ve made is not good enough. In order to remain competitive, we must work harder to outpace surrounding states and market the incredible opportunities Michigan has to offer its residents.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]