Liz McCormick Published

Higher Education Leaders Set Goal to Increase Number of College-Educated West Virginians

Students at Computers

Higher education leaders in West Virginia announced Wednesday a goal to see more of the state’s workforce with a formal education credential beyond high school by 2030.

Leaders in higher education hope to see at least 60 percent of the state’s workforce holding some kind of higher education credential in just a little more than ten years. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission made the announcement Wednesday in a press release.

This means nearly doubling the percentage of working-age West Virginians who have either a traditional four-year degree or qualification, such as an associate’s degree from a community college, or some other kind of certification.

This new campaign is called “West Virginia’s Climb.” It was launched at the annual Student Success Summit this week, which attracts nearly 500 West Virginia educators and is sponsored by the West Virginia HEPC and the state Department of Education.

Staff from the HEPC and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System acknowledge the campaign is “a lofty goal,” but one they say is attainable through awareness, college access and dedication.

According to the HEPC, the highest percentage by county of working-aged certificate- and degree-holders is Monongalia at 45 percent, while the lowest is McDowell at eight percent.