What is the goal?
Tennessee lags regional and national averages in the educational attainment level of its working-age population. Currently, only 29.9 percent of Tennessee’s adults aged 25-64 hold an associate’s degree or higher, compared to an average of 34.3 percent for Southern Regional Education Board states and 37.2 percent for the nation.
Currently, Tennessee produces approximately 35,000 college graduates per year. Holding conditions constant, current production indicates that annual degree production will be about 38,000 in 2015. To meet the national average, Tennessee needs to produce a cumulative additional 269,000 degrees (Associates and Bachelors) by 2025. To achieve the goal, Tennessee higher education must be producing 44,000 postsecondary degrees per year by 2015 and eventually 59,000 degrees per year by 2025 (Chart 1). In the other words, Tennessee needs to continuously increase its degree productivity by 3.5% every year from now until 2025.
Tennessee’s Goal: By 2025, the state will reach the national average in the educational attainment of working-age adults