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Stronger Nation Data Visualization Can Aid the Effort to Boost Education Levels

Interactive Tool Helps Identify Paths Toward a New Learning System

A Stronger Nation, Lumina Foundation’s signature online report tracking the share of adults 25 to 64 with education and training after high school, has added a new goal-exploration tool to its national and state data that can be used by policy officials and journalists.

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The United States continues to show incremental progress toward the national goal of 60 percent of adults by 2025 with college degrees, certificates, or other quality credentials beyond the high school diploma,” said Holiday McKiernan, Lumina’s acting CEO. “We are nearing 48 percent post-high school education attainment nationally. But when you consider that at least two-thirds of jobs are going to require some form of higher learning, it is clear we are facing a talent crisis. The Stronger Nation tool helps identify where we need to work harder within states and communities to improve attainment, especially among people of color.”

A few points of note:

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  • Twenty-four states outperformed the national increase in degree attainment of 2.5 percentage points between 2013 and 2017.
  • While Massachusetts and Colorado continue to lead among states in college degree attainment, ArkansasMaineNevadaNew Jersey, and Utah experienced the largest single-year gains.
  • Within the past year, Hispanics experienced the largest percentage-point increase among ethnic groups, rising by 1.8 points, to 23.7 percent attainment.

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The Stronger Nation website, which is continually updated as data come in from the U.S. census and other sources, offers the ability to view education data, make comparisons, and better understand the extent to which African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans need greater attention to improve educational outcomes. Users can see how their states, metro areas, and counties are doing, with breakdowns for degree attainment by race, ethnicity, and age. In addition, Lumina’s new goal-exploration tool allows users to set attainment goals, generating annual targets by race/ethnicity, age, enrollment, and credential type necessary to achieve these goals.

“Stronger Nation allows users to pull together a lot of useful and easy-to-see data with the click of a button or two,” said Courtney Brown, Lumina’s vice president of strategic impact. “The information in Stronger Nation can help officials have a more complete picture of how they must  increase educational success beyond high school of many more people and, ultimately, create a nation of people ready to meet future challenges.”

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