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Regents Formally Adopt Statewide Education Attainment Goal





News Release

Contacts: Mike Rush, Executive Director and CEO


Janelle Toman, Director of Communications



Telephone: (605) 773-3455

Fax: (605) 773-5320





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, August 4, 2016


Regents Formally Adopt Statewide Education Attainment Goal


PIERRE, S.D. – An initial effort to establish a statewide education attainment goal to meet growing workforce demands across South Dakota takes an important step forward.


In action today, the South Dakota Board of Regents formally adopted a statewide attainment goal of 65 percent of South Dakota citizens, ages 25 to 34, holding some type of postsecondary credential by 2025. The goal addresses a full range of educational attainment from technical certificates and apprenticeships to associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees.


Last fall, the board agreed to 65 percent as a provisional goal, calling it an important starting point for discussions with other higher education providers, policymakers, community advocates, and business leaders. Since that time, the board’s executive director and CEO, Mike Rush, said he and regents’ staff engaged many stakeholders in discussing the need to educate more South Dakotans to higher levels for a knowledge- and service-based economy.


The South Dakota Workforce Development Council voted to support the 65 percent attainment goal last December. The South Dakota Board of Education, along with the state Department of Education, lent its support earlier this year. Gov. Dennis Daugaard also voiced support in his State of the State message to the South Dakota Legislature in January, calling it a “worthy goal to pursue.”


Rush said he looks forward to all postsecondary education partners in South Dakota—public, private, technical, and tribal institutions—working together to deliver on the 65 percent attainment goal.


As of 2014, about 45 percent of working-age South Dakotans hold some form of postsecondary credential at the certificate level and higher. The new 65 percent attainment goal is based on projections from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute’s Center on Education and the Workforce that roughly 65 percent of all jobs in South Dakota will require some level of postsecondary education by 2020.