Today, Governor Steve Bullock announced his Complete College Montana initiative. This initiative aims to increase the number Montanans who have completed their college degrees and certificates.
"When Montanans complete their degrees they're more competitive in the workforce, earn higher wages and help to strengthen our state's economy," Bullock said. "The Complete College Montana initiative will help more college students earn their degrees and will give Montana taxpayers the results they expect from our colleges and universities."
Several key components of this initiative include creating a postsecondary education funding system focused on results, changing developmental education for students who enter postsecondary institutions academically underprepared, increasing access to dual-credit opportunities, simplifying the maze of academic courses and student requirements by creating easy to follow academic maps and improving data collection to ensure Montana is achieving its goals.
"Montana has some of the best colleges and universities in the nation," said Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian. "Through the Complete College Montana initiative we'll increase the number of students graduating from these schools, ensuring students get the most out of their time and money."
"We know that high school students who take college-level courses are more likely to graduate, enter college and stay in college," Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said of the role that K-12 schools play in this effort. "Providing high school students with access to dual credit opportunities gives them a jumpstart on life after high school and makes college more affordable for Montana families."
Montana joins 33 other states in the Complete College America effort. This partnership will provide Montana with technical assistance, best practices and other guidance for implementing policies that will help to increase the number of Montanans with completed college degrees and certificates. More information about Complete College America can be found at: www.completecollege.org.
"Montanans are very fortunate to have a governor who gets it on college completion," Complete College America President Stan Jones said. "Governor Bullock's visionary Complete College Montana initiative will ensure a strong state economy and good paying jobs as more Montanans gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed"
In his State of the State address earlier this year, Governor Bullock laid out his goal of increasing the percent of the Montana population with a completed college certificate from 40% to 60%. This initiative is part of his efforts to achieve this goal. Recently, Montana was recognized as the leading state in the nation for increasing its percentage of the population with a higher education credential, moving from 37% to 40% over a three year span.