Strategic Action Plan
The 2019-21 Strategic Action Plan (draft copy) outlines strategies and investments to meet Washington's educational attainment goals:
- All adults in Washington, ages 25-44, will have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- At least 70 percent of Washington adults, ages 25-44, will have a postsecondary credential.
Meeting the Challenge
Reaching the educational attainment goals hinges on the state’s determination to address four critical challenge areas:
- Create Affordable, High-Quality Pathways that provide multiple routes to completion of certificates and degrees, including apprenticeships and other career-connected learning opportunities.
Close Opportunity Gaps by confronting barriers for underserved students and providing support for underrepresented students throughout their academic careers.
- Support Regional Leaders by addressing regional workforce shortages and by engaging and supporting regional efforts, responsive to regional needs and competitive advantages, to accelerate educational attainment.
- Reconnect Adult Learners through recruitment and support efforts to encourage the completion of degrees and credentials for students who have earned some academic credit.
2019-21 Strategic Action Plan Recommendations
Washington must invest in an array of programs targeting every level of the education system.
Create Affordable, High-Quality Pathways
Affordability constraints impede students’ abilities to select from multiple options, regardless of their economic circumstances.
- Fully fund and forecast the State Need Grant program
- Amply fund public institutions
- Target aid to students from middle-income families
- Pilot a savings matching incentive program
Close Educational Opportunity Gaps
The complexity of issues affecting the opportunity gap necessitates a systemic approach to improve equity.
- Increase the number of counselors
- Expand support for College Bound Scholars
- Increase financial aid applications with additional training and events
- Improve dual-credit opportunities for low-income students
- Expand student supports on college campuses
Support Regional Leaders
Sustainable momentum in improving educational attainment relies on regional efforts.
- Build a pipeline to meet regional workforce shortages
- Engage and regional leaders and support local efforts
- Expand career-connected learning opportunities
Reconnect Adult Learners
Adults without accessible and affordable options to complete postsecondary education will not have access to living-wage jobs.
- Offer enrollment navigation guidance to returning adults
- Expand child care funding
- Target outreach to working-aged adults
- Utilize Guided Pathways to ensure efficient completion
- Provide technical assistance to institutions to serve adult learners