BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Board of Regents gained support from two national organizations, the Governor, and a host of policy and education leaders as it adopted a Master Plan for Higher Education during its August meeting today. The Master Plan, entitled Louisiana Prospers: Driving Our Talent Imperative, sets a strategic vision for the state and a robust attainment goal of 60% of working-age adults achieving a postsecondary education credential by the year 2030. Reaching that goal will require the state to more than double the number of credentials produced annually from 40,000 to more than 85,000 over the next 11 years.
Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed today outlined the challenges that must be addressed to reach the goals including expanding student access and success, eliminating damaging equity gaps, and significantly increasing the educational levels for adults.
“Developing Louisiana’s talent and increasing prosperity requires a total state effort. It is not a solo assignment. Our recipe for success is a commitment to educate, innovate and collaborate at scale with the help of a host of prosperity champions,” said Commissioner Reed. “I am delighted that the board, the Governor, and key leaders have come together in support of this vision and are committed to reaching our goal, which is critical for our students and our state,” Commissioner Reed emphasized.
Governor John Bel Edwards, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, encouraged Regents to continue their collaboration across agencies while implementing the plan. Edwards emphasized that 96% of Louisiana’s workforce is comprised of Louisiana residents who must be prepared for an evolving economy if they are to prosper. He said we can all agree that higher education is the solution and is an important priority in ensuring the state’s future success.
“The Master Plan for Higher Education is critically important for the future of our state, our people, and their families,” said Governor Edwards. “If we can make sure enough people are educated, jobs will be created here, and our economy will thrive. It’s the number one question I get asked by companies and investors when they want to come to our state. They ask about our talent pipeline. So, you’re right on track, and it’s what we’re seeing with our renewed commitment to higher education. This will transform our state.” the Governor remarked.
Edwards also announced that Louisiana is one of six states receiving a National Governor’s Association Educate for Opportunity Award focused on education and workforce development for adult learners. Through this $100,000 grant, the state will create data-driven approaches to connect residents to jobs in growing industries, strengthening local economies and helping people embark on meaningful careers that allow them to support themselves and their families.
Regents staff have spent approximately a year developing the components of the Master Plan including visits by the Commissioner of Higher Education to every campus in the state. Those visits included discussions of challenges and opportunities with higher education leaders, students, faculty, business and elected officials in both rural and urban communities. Through this work, and its constitutional responsibility, Regents affirms its role in strategic planning which includes the minimum admission standards, establishing roles, scopes and missions and creating an outcome-based funding formula focused on increased attainment and erasing equity gaps.
Moving forward, a comprehensive action plan that supports the statewide attainment goal and outlines benchmarks for annual progress is being developed. To assist in driving that work, Louisiana has been selected by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) as one of seven states to participate in Attainment Academies funded by ECMC Foundation and other funders. As an Attainment Academy state, Louisiana will receive support over the next 18 months to develop specific plans to reach its attainment goal. A state team will be developed to learn from peers and national experts about what’s working in other states and to identify key strategies to accelerate state efforts. Other Attainment Academy states include California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“We know our work is all about the students and I’m so excited that we’re being recognized nationally as a leader for our attainment goal and our Master Plan,” said Board of Regents Chairman Marty Chabert. “All of our partners who have joined us today including our system presidents, K-12, economic development, corrections, children and family services, Council for a Better Louisiana and Ed Trust know this work has the potential to change the face of Louisiana. We can’t do it alone and I appreciate their commitment to talent development and their support of our work moving forward.”
Louisiana’s Master Plan document, a short video outlining plan’s highlights and a series of Master Plan Metrics designed to measure outcomes and drive accountability are all available on the Board of Regents website, masterplan.regents.la.gov.