Why It Matters
There are 36 million individuals in the United States with some college credit but no degree. Many stopped out because of a mismatch with the college or university they started attending, difficulties balancing family and life issues with school, finances or debt. Now, they are barred from many jobs with good pay that require a college credential, their children have no role models for college completion at home, and they may still carry the stigma of failure.
Increasing the number of adults with degrees has a generational multiplier effect: When an adult earns a degree the youth in their household are three times more likely to finish high school, go to college and earn a degree themselves.
By 2020 65% of all jobs will require college education. Time is running out for regions relying solely on a K-12 pipeline, and not all cities are magnets for recent college grads. Working adults immediately infuse the regional talent shed with their new skills and expertise.
There is an estimated 86,000 working adults in Spokane County who have started some form of college education but have not completed a degree or certificate.
Currently, only 40% of adults in Spokane County over 25 years old hold an associate’s degree or higher.