Ashton Marra Published

West Virginia Sets Goal to Increase Degrees Awarded


West Virginia higher education officials want to increase the number of degrees awarded annually in the state to 40,000 by 2025, more than doubling those awarded last year. 

West Virginia’s two-year and four-year public colleges and universities awarded a record 18,000 degrees in 2014, but now higher education officials are looking for ways to increase that number to meet future workforce demands.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System announced the “Double the Degrees” effort on Wednesday in a news release. The program is meant to increase the number of college and university degrees awarded in West Virginia.

The agencies say several initiatives are underway to achieve their goal of 40,000 degrees by 2025, including increasing college access and improving the student credit transfer process.

Higher Education Policy Commission chancellor Paul Hill and Community and Technical College System chancellor Sarah Tucker say an increased number of college and university graduates will better position West Virginia to attract quality, high-paying jobs.

Research shows that by 2020, more than half of jobs in West Virginia will require an associate’s degree or higher, but only about 30 percent of West Virginians currently fall in that category.