NC: Improvements in on-time graduation rates for high schoolers, but still room for growth

By on 4.9.19 in Education

Successfully attaining a high school diploma is a necessary step in the transition to either college or gainful employment. Earning a high school equivalency credential, like the GED, is not the same as a high school diploma. Compared to high school graduates, individuals with a GED earn less in the labor market and are less likely to go to college. The high school diploma is more than an indicator of academic knowledge; it is also a barometer of the individual’s capacity to stick with a task and other soft skills that may be harder to quantify.

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NC in Focus: The Sex Gap in Postsecondary Attainment

Nationally, 46% of women aged 25-64 reported having an associate degree or higher in 2017 compared to 39% of men, a gap of seven percentage points. In North Carolina, this gap was even larger: 48% of women had an associate degree or higher compared to 38% of men, a gap of 10 percentage points.Compared to men, North Carolina women are more likely to report the completion of an associate degree (11.9% vs. 8.3%), bachelor’s (23.3% vs. 20.1%), or master’s (9.8% vs. 6.8%) degree. Men are slightly more likely than women to hold a professional degree (1.8% vs. 1.7%) or a doctorate (1.3% vs. 1.1%).

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Rising Attainment Among North Carolina’s Degree-Earners

Forty-three percent of North Carolina’s adults aged 25-64 held some type of postsecondary degree in 2017—just over 2.3 million residents in the state. This share has risen five percentage points since 2010, and ten since 2000. In total, North Carolina gained 932K working-age adults with an Associate degree or higher from 2000 to 2017, and among these adults, the level of degree attainment continues to rise. In 2000, the majority of NC adults aged 25-64…

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In-migration plays large role in NC’s rising educational attainment

By on 3.13.19 in Education, Migration

When we focus on educational attainment, we generally focus on prime working-age adults, defined here as adults between the ages of 25 and 64. There were 5.4 million prime working-age adults in North Carolina in 2017. Of these individuals, 2.3 million or 43.2% held a postsecondary degree: 545,000 or 10% had an associate degree 2 million or 22% had a bachelor’s degree 446,400 or 8% had a master’s degree 92,900 or 2% had a professional…

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What is “postsecondary attainment”?

By on 3.7.19 in Education

What is “postsecondary attainment”? This post was co-authored with the John M. Belk Endowment. School administrators, policy analysts, and government officials have begun using the term “postsecondary attainment” when discussing successful educational outcomes. What does this mean? Postsecondary refers to education or training beyond high school. Attainment means the completion of a postsecondary degree or nondegree credential. Postsecondary attainment is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It includes postsecondary degrees, such as associate or bachelor’s degrees, awarded…

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Introducing North Carolina’s Public Postsecondary Pipeline

By on 3.5.19 in Education

On February 20, the myFutureNC Commission announced a statewide attainment goal: by 2030, 2 million North Carolinians age 25-44 will hold a postsecondary degree or nondegree credential. This represents a 67% postsecondary attainment rate for this age group in 2030, a seventeen percentage point increase over the current attainment rate for this age group (50% in 2017). https://youtu.be/YU4CKSkcGSM This goal was set because recent trends in educational attainment are insufficient to meet projected demands for…

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Obstacles & Opportunities for Educational Attainment in NC

Demographic changes in the composition of North Carolina’s child population will likely introduce new challenges to reaching any goal of increasing statewide educational attainment. In Fall 2017, 44 percent or 674,000 North Carolina public school enrollments were black, Hispanic, or American Indian students. Over the past 5 years, this group of students has grown twice as fast as the overall student population and is projected to continue to grow steadily for the next 5-10 years. Compared to the state average, North Carolina’s American Indian, black, and Hispanic students are: Less likely to report plans to continue their education after high school.Eighty-four percent of North Carolina public high school graduates reported plans to continue their education at either a four-year, two-year, or trade school in 2015. While most Hispanic (77%), American Indian (80%), and black (81%) students also report postsecondary plans, they are more likely than their white and Asian peers to report plans to enlist in the military or start employment instead.

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NC workforce grows—and grows more educated—from migration

By on 9.19.16 in Education, Migration

Working-age adults (18-64) make up the majority of migrants into and out of the state. On average, nearly 243,000 working-age adults moved into North Carolina each year between 2010 and 2014 while 175,000 moved away, an annual net gain of  68,000 working-age adults. Working-age adults who moved into or out of the state had higher educational attainment than non-migrants (individuals who either did not move or made a move within North Carolina boundaries). Sixty-eight percent of migrants had some form of postsecondary education compared to 60% of non-migrants. This difference was primarily driven by high levels of individuals reporting a bachelor's degree or higher among migrants (34% versus 26% among non-migrants). Because North Carolina has net gains from migration, the overall impact of migration is to grow the state’s workforce while also increasing its educational attainment. Every year since 2010, North Carolina has gained an average of 68,000 working-age adults. Of these, 24,000 have some college or an associate’s degree while 22,000 have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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NC in Focus: Prime Working-Age Adults with Postsecondary Attainment, 1970-2014

By on 8.25.16 in Education

Levels of postsecondary educational attainment have risen steadily in recent decades. In 1970, only 19% of North Carolina adults ages 25-64 had any postsecondary education, six percentage points less than the national rate of 25%. Though adult postsecondary attainment in the state increased in 1980 and again in 1990, a large gap remained between North Carolina and the nation. This gap narrowed to two percentage points in 2000. By 2010, postsecondary attainment in North Carolina…

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NC in Focus: Educational attainment by race/ethnicity and nativity

By on 7.14.16 in Education, Migration

The percentage of North Carolina adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher rose from 22.8% in 2001 to 28.6% in 2014, according to data from the American Community Survey. Asian-Americans had the highest educational attainment, with more than half of North Carolina’s Asian adults holding a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2014.  Non-Hispanic whites also had higher rates of holding bachelor’s degrees than the state overall: 32.4%. The percentage of Asian adults holding a bachelor’s…

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