Illinois Public Radio
February 10, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, IL (WSIU) - The Quinn administration wants to increase Illinois' college completion rate in an effort to keep the state and the U.S more competitive in the global marketplace.
Prior to speaking to a group of Community College Presidents in Bloomington, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon said the state needs to increase the proportion of working-age adults with advanced degrees from 41-percent to 60-percent in 14 years.
She says multinational organizations demand a highly-educated workforce.
"Are you gonna look into the country that has the best rate of college graduates or the 12th in the world?" says Simon. "And that's where we are in the United States right now. We're 12th in the world, whereas we used to be first. So what we're saying is Illinois is gonna do our part to make sure we're leaders, that we're getting back up to a percentage that's gonna make us competitive in the world again."
Simon says she'll deliver the completion goal to each of the 48 community college campuses she visits over the next year. She says those who enroll in college can't keep up, in part because of high tuition rates. Simon says this makes community colleges more appealing.