70% x 2024 - Increasing Knox County's College-Going Rate
A vibrant Knox County relies on strong communities filled with prosperous, engaged citizens. The development of the talent pipeline needed to ensure economic prosperity for all begins with the community-supported belief in the opportunity for all to receive a high-quality credential after high school.
Although once at an all-time high of 67 percent in 2015, Knox County has dropped to 59 percent of its students attending college (i.e., technical, two-year, four-year) directly following high school graduation. This dramatic decline poses a threat to our county's long-term economic viability.1
Knox County is poised to lead the state in the percentage of high school students accessing a high-quality credential after high school. Measured by the college-going rate, Knox County must aspire and work to provide every student the opportunity to attend college directly following high school with the bold goal of reaching 70 percent by 2024.2
70 percent by 2024 means Knox County leaders must:
- Embrace a student-first approach and a "we are all in this together" mindset;
- Develop a plan that explicitly addresses gaps in access to postsecondary education and measures subgroup access;
- Increase collaboration and coordination between K12, higher education, community partners, and business/industry;
- Develop and deliver a message that post-secondary education and training is for all and further define the multiple post-secondary pathways to prosperity;
- Continue to focus on increased college retention and completion strategies; and
- Create and implement a long-term strategy to build and maintain a strong talent pipeline.
Knox County is resource-rich with business and industry leaders who invest in its future, education leaders who work tirelessly to clear the path for students to thrive and community leaders who devote time and resources to move our county forward.
While bold, this goal is not only necessary but attainable
and will make a lasting impact on our students and our community.
1 Knox Countys average annual income is $57,255 but to own a home, an average household income needs to be at $97,000 or higher. Home ownership is a significant milestone in the development of generational wealth building.
2 Nationally, we project about 70 percent of jobs in 2030 will require some postsecondary education. Good jobs will continue to be concentrated among workers with postsecondary education."--Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale (taken from: The Future of American Higher Education I by Anthony P. Carnevale I Georgetown CEW I Medium)