Good for Oregon
Educational attainment levels, workforce and industry development, and our prospects for economic health remain intertwined. Oregon’s business leaders express the need for higher education institutions to graduate students prepared to compete in our knowledge-based industries. Oregon legislators have passed legislation calling for all Oregonians to be high school graduates, 40% to hold Associate’s degrees or equivalent credentials, and another 40% to hold Bachelor’s or higher degrees by 2025. At present, twenty-nine percent of Oregonians ages 25-64 hold Bachelor’s or higher degrees—Oregon’s higher education institutions will need to increase the number of baccalaureate and higher degrees awarded in order to reach the 40% goal.
The Alliance institutions bring unparalleled efficiency to Oregon’s efforts to increase the educational attainment of its citizens. As a sector, they enroll 19% of the undergraduates at all Oregon four-year institutions, while conferring 23% of the baccalaureate degrees awarded. And Oregon taxpayers benefit as well—taxpayer cost per degree at the Alliance institutions is a small fraction of the cost per degree at our public institutions. They receive less than 1% of Oregon’s post-secondary education appropriations, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant.
The fastest-growing occupational fields (STEM, healthcare, and community services) especially demand higher levels of postsecondary education. The Alliance campuses award high percentages of degrees awarded in Oregon particularly relevant to these specific needs:
- 20% of Core STEM bachelor’s degrees
- 24% of Business Management & Marketing bachelor’s degrees
- 22% of Economics & Political Science bachelor’s degrees
- 34% of Mathematics & Statistics bachelor’s degrees
- 22% of Public Administration & Social Service Professions bachelor’s degrees
- 22% of Arts & Humanities bachelor’s degrees
- 38% of Education bachelor’s degrees
- 35% of all Health Professions bachelor’s degrees (60% of all Nursing degrees)
- 34% of International Relations and Affairs bachelor’s degrees
Regardless of academic major, the liberal arts education at these institutions prepares students with the critical skills cited as the important attributes sought in prospective employees. The Alliance institutions prepare students to think with clarity, act with integrity, and serve with passion as they face the moral, social, vocational and technological challenges of the 21st century and engage in their communities. These same intellectual skills have great value in all work environments—both to the individual and the employer.
Private, nonprofit colleges and universities offer a personalized, nurturing environment that supports leadership development, achievement and excellence by integrating academic study with co-curricular and service-learning opportunities. These campuses encourage close relationships among faculty, students, and staff to enhance learning and build community.
Just as a highly educated citizenry promotes sustainable, prosperous industries and communities, individuals themselves benefit over their lifetimes from their education. Students earning undergraduate degrees at Alliance institutions benefit not only from the high-quality, personalized education they receive (as do Oregon’s businesses and communities), but also from the efficiencies characteristic of these small, private institutions. Students are more likely to graduate within four years than are students at Oregon’s other baccalaureate institutions within six years, reducing their debt liabilities and integrating them into Oregon’s workforce sooner.
For more information about Oregon’s private, nonprofit higher education sector and how to help secure a brighter future for students and for Oregon, please visit the Giving page.