The need to target adult students

In Pennsylvania.  This article points out that opportunities for adult college students are limited in the Keystone State.  They could be a lucrative market for colleges and universities to tap. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This state ranks 49th in the percentage of residents 25 to 49 without bachelor's degrees who are pursuing undergraduate study. Only about 129,000 of the nearly 2.9 million Pennsylvanians without bachelor's degrees in that age range, or 4.5 percent, are in degree or certificate programs.

The nation as a whole has struggled to draw these older students back to the classroom, a fact cited by policy groups that say the United States has lost ground to other countries in workforce development. Pennsylvania's numbers are especially bleak.

The state trails Louisiana and leads only New Hampshire, which ranked dead last, according to 2009 U.S. Census and Education Department data compiled by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The Boulder, Colo., group provides states and institutions with data to help with policy decisions.

Experts say it's perplexing how a state making significant gains enrolling younger adults, including those right out of high school, continues to miss so many adults in their prime earning years.

If Pennsylvania were to raise its share to the national average, 7 percent, it would translate into 72,000 more adults in college.

That's double the total enrollment of the University of Pittsburgh's main and branch campuses or more than half the enrollment of Pennsylvania's 14 state universities.


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