Ambrose Joins Missouri Team to Address Need for More College Graduates
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 19, 2011) – Committed to advancing the state’s public higher education agenda, University of Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose is joining a six-person team of state leaders to participate in the Complete College America 2011 Completion Academy in Austin, Texas.
The Missouri delegation was invited, in part, on the basis of the state’s robust self-assessment, which establishes the necessary framework for a completion plan to increase the number of individuals who earn college degrees. It also assesses the state’s readiness and capacity for implementation.
The CCA 2011 is taking place Oct. 18-21. Following convening activities, the final three days of the conference will provide intensive technical assistance and support to the six alliance states that have demonstrated a significant commitment to the establishment, adoption and implementation of plans to enhance college completion.
Missouri’s state academy team includes Michael Nietzel, the governor’s education policy advisor; David Russell, commissioner of higher education; Senator David Pearce, District 31; Representative Mike Thomson, District 4; and Debbie Goodall, president of Metropolitan Community College-Business and Technology. Individuals representing the other alliance states, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, and Maryland, have similar professional backgrounds.
“It is a great opportunity to be a part of a team of state leaders who share a common goal – to create a strong workforce and improved economy by increasing the number of Missourians who have earned college degrees. If we want our state to remain competitive, we must all work together to meet this objective,” Ambrose said. “The state of Missouri, represented by state government, community colleges and four-year universities, continues to demonstrate its commitment to helping Missouri achieve the degree completion goals outlined by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education and Governor Jay Nixon.”
The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education has already adopted a coordinated plan to increase the number of college graduates. The plan is consistent with the governor’s charge for the state’s colleges and universities to increase the percentage of adults with a college degree from its current level of 37 percent to 60 percent by 2020.
Missouri’s completion agenda, which has been endorsed by the Department or Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Department of Higher Education, includes the following specific objectives:
- Increasing readiness for college success
- Ensuring access to and affordability of postsecondary education
- Enhancing collaboration among the state’s two-year and four-year institutions
- Improving progression, retention and graduation rates, and
- Encouraging and supporting college completion by working adults who have earned college credits but have not earned a degree.
According to the Missouri College Completion Self-Assessment, a focus on the completion agenda has already demonstrated positive results. Degree production in Missouri increased by 6.2 percent in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents 4,227 more graduates than the previous fiscal year. The number of graduates in FY2010 climbed by 2.8 percent, 2,065 more Missourians with college diplomas than in 2009. Missouri’s higher education agenda and progress toward meeting completion goals also discussed by Governor Nixon when he spoke at UCM Oct. 6 during the former presidential inauguration ceremony for Ambrose.