Column: State must increase urgency to raise education attainment




Indiana’s second state of higher education address in January offered an opportunity to highlight our recent progress but also to make a compelling case to move with an even greater sense of urgency and purpose. Evidence of Indiana’s growing momentum to establish one of the nation’s best and most student-focused higher education systems is everywhere.

We streamlined college credit requirements to help more students graduate on time. Prior to the passage of legislation two years ago, nearly 90 percent of degree programs at Indiana’s public colleges exceeded the traditional standard of 120 credit hours for a four-year degree and 60 credits for a two-year degree.

The result was students taking longer to graduate and often ending up with more college debt. Today, this obstacle has nearly been eliminated with more than 90 percent of degree programs meeting the accepted standard — a complete reversal. This single, common sense change is estimated to save students and taxpayers more than $35 million a year.

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