Higher Education Committee Has First Meeting
Yesterday was the first meeting of Governor Bob McDonnell’s Higher Education Reform Commission. Craig Carper reports.
Addressing the 45-member Commission of Education officials and experts from the public and private sector, Governor McDonnell stressed the importance of expanding access to affordable higher education.
Currently 42 percent of Virginians hold a college degree. McDonnell has set a goal of 100,000 new degrees over the next 15 years, which would increase that number to 50 percent.
McDonnell says increased investment in higher-ed will pay great dividends in the long run.
McDonnell: The Weld and Cooper Center has estimated that for every dollar spent on higher education in Virginia, we produce more than thirteen dollars in economic output in returns; in any economy, that’s not a bad return on investment.
The Governor says a greater focus must be placed on STEM curriculum meaning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which are the leading growth areas in the economy.
In 2012, Federal stimulus dollars for higher education institutions will run out and McDonnell says universities will need to cut costs, by streamlining the curriculum they offer, greater usage of online education and a greater emphasis on dual enrollment for high school students and the value of two-year degrees.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square