Group Wants More Local Residents To Achieve A College Degree

January 19, 2018

A local group wants to increase the number of Escambia County residents with a college degree by 20 percent by 2025.

Achieve Escambia has received a $20,000 planning grant from the Florida College Access Network to support a new effort dedicated to supporting pathways to postsecondary education and employment in Escambia County.

Currently, Escambia County’s postsecondary attainment rate is 40.1%. The Florida College Access Network’s goal is to increase that achievement rate to 60% by 2025.

To reach this goal, Achieve Escambia will create a Local College Access Network. The group will include leaders representing a variety of sectors to build a culture that supports postsecondary opportunity in Escambia County. The  partnership will focus not only on increasing college readiness, access and completion, but also on supporting collaborative initiatives that can raise attainment rates in tangible ways.

“We are the first local network in the Panhandle to connect with a broader statewide strategy designed to provide all high school graduates with clear paths to postsecondary success,” said Kimberly Krupa, director of Achieve Escambia.

“We know that moving the needle on something as big as postsecondary attainment is not the responsibility of  one individual or organization,” said Debbie Calder, executive vice president of Navy Federal Credit Union and chair of the Achieve Escambia Leadership Council. “This is all about bringing people together across many sectors to seriously focus on what we need to do to improve education and workforce outcomes.”

Laurie Meggesin, executive director of the Florida College Access Network, said local college access networks like Achieve Escambia are in the best position to close gaps that exist between the skills of local workers and the needs of current and future employers.


4 Responses to “Group Wants More Local Residents To Achieve A College Degree”

  1. A on January 22nd, 2018 7:58 pm

    Somebody is going to have to drive the truck. Somebody needs to know how to change a flat tire. Somebody needs to know how to fix the toilet. Somebody needs to know which end of the hammer goes in your hand. When all you scholars are lined up to apply for that $18,000/year job don’t any of you complain about what a plumber makes or how much he/she charges.

  2. Sage2 on January 19th, 2018 9:15 am

    Being realistic is part of being intelligent and so-called educated. With that in mind maybe this “planning group” would wish for 50% by 2025. Of course, there are some colleges and universities that will throw a diploma in your car if the windows are down! :-)

    We need to assess what is best, affordable and attainable once a person is mature enough to understand the benefits of having a higher education…whatever level that may be. Otherwise, there are those that will depend on society to support them throughout their entire lives.

  3. THE DOER on January 19th, 2018 6:11 am

    This looks so good and noble on paper, but let’s just shed some light here. #1–A college degree is not the epitome of success. Things have been watered down, including a high school diploma, that many kids do have a piece of paper that really means nothing. Why? Unqualified teachers are becoming the norm in the public classrooms. Districts are having to hire whatever is out there. You can have a four-year degree in hotel management, but you can go pass a certification test, and guess what? Now you’re a “qualified” teacher. Isn’t that just grand?

    And guess who pays the price? Look at the numbers in Santa Rosa and Escambia County alone. Very few students can pass simple grammar tests and basic math tests. Oh, that’s right. A lot of things “teachers” don’t teach because they don’t know it themselves. What happened to teachers being specialists in their fields? I guess that’s old school.

    #2–We need skills training. Let’s start this in high school. What happened to shop classes, real cooking classes, music lessons, etc.? All of those are ripped away now to replace them with remedial classes, so kids can pass whatever is needed to graduate. Real-life skills are not taught anymore. We need future welders, plumbers, mechanics. College is not for everyone. High schools need to quit trying to act as if it is.

    #3–When the “college for everyone” idea is pushed, we are selling all those involved short. Many, many students need a skill. This really becomes evident in the 6th grade.

    Educating the masses in the form of more college achievement is not the answer. Let’s get more skilled labor out there, and this should start in middle and high school — not silly school academies that are led by unqualified bodies simply placed in the room to meet a quota. We need real partnerships with businesses, etc. That’s true achievement!

  4. Oversight on January 19th, 2018 5:46 am

    What do the percentages mean in real numbers? So there are 300k residents in the county and 40% have degrees. Are they saying that 120,000 residents have degrees? Then raise the number to 60% to 180,000 in 7 years? Maybe it’s a nice goal but a bit unrealistic considering the capacity of PSC and UWF.