Learning Beyond High School Builds Wisconsin Talent

Wisconsin’s population is aging. With a wave of retirements and fewer high school graduates, the state faces an urgent and growing need for talent.

To meet that need, many more people must continue their learning beyond high school, earning college degrees, diplomas or certificates, or completing a registered apprenticeship.

Wisconsin’s higher education systems – the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) – are collaborating to ensure those between the ages of 25 and 64 have every opportunity to earn those high-value education credentials.

With support from the Lumina Foundation, and joined by industry and other partners, we will strive to increase the number of high school graduates who continue their education beyond high school. In Wisconsin, this post-high school (postsecondary) attainment rate is currently about 48 percent. This rate is tied to key economic indicators, including workforce participation and individual earnings.

Together, we will help Wisconsin achieve a postsecondary attainment rate of 60 percent by 2027 … 60 Forward.

How Wisconsin Compares to the Nation

Educational attainment in Wisconsin exceeds the national average, but work remains before it reaches 60 percent.

Wisconsin has a larger share of people with associate degrees compared to the nation as a whole.

Wisconsin’s Progress

To reach state goals, the state will not only have to maintain current rates of attainment, but also significantly increase the number of people who enroll in programs and earn credentials beyond high school. Wisconsin’s overall rate of educational attainment has increased by 10.4 percentage points since 2008.

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