Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s Education Commissioner, required state lawmakers to reevaluate their advanced schooling funding choices if they’re seriously interested in improving college graduation rates in the state. According to Lubbers, legislators should look for ways to encourage students to do well in college and graduate promptly by creating financial aid incentives that reward higher grades and those who manage to complete their programs in four years.
Lubbers pointed out that graduation rates within the state continue being too low, and lots of of those who give up prior to completing the amount are left not just with reduced opportunities for employment but also with crushing student debt.
\”It\’s not an overstatement to say Indiana\’s future – the type of state we will be – has more to do with education than anything else,\” she told about 300 people who attended her speech at the Indiana Government Center.
Her address came as the state\’s Commission for Advanced schooling is seeking a 7.Five percent increase in appropriations for that state\’s total higher education budget for 2013-15. The home Ways and Means Committee heard that proposal earlier Wednesday.
She asserted in order to alter the status quo, lawmakers will have to find wiser ways to spend their higher education funds.
Lubbers’ speech also discussed the recently released report with a government commission that showed that only about 10% of college students in four-year schools actually graduate in four years — and an even smaller percentage graduate on time in vocational schools.
Indiana\’s public universities are under mounting pressure from the commission to improve their graduation rates. A study released last year by the commission calls for the state to improve the number of Indiana residents having a college degree to 60 % of the state\’s adult population by 2025. Currently, only about a third of Indiana adults hold at least one degree, ranging from a one-year work force certificate to a master\’s degree.
Lubbers said that those numbers are unacceptable if Indiana hopes to more firmly establish the foundations for its future economic growth. She asserted currently the legislators take no steps to inspire students to take up majors in high-demand fields like science, mathematics and technology.
She added that increasing graduation rates will pay huge dividends. If 60% of Indiana university students go on to graduate, they might bring an addition $1.5 billion into the state economy.
State Rep. Robert Behning, an Indianapolis Republican who chairs the House Education Committee, agreed with Lubbers\’ demand more state purchase of higher education.
\”In Indiana we are blessed with a surplus. Hopefully we are able to invest in higher ed [and] K-12,\” he explained.