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California received flunking grades in a new report measuring the state's progress in enrolling high school graduates in college and helping them complete a certificate or degree program.
The analysis, released Thursday by the Campaign for College Opportunity, also gave the state a B- for preparing high school students for college-level courses, and a C for helping students and their families pay the cost of college.
The Los Angeles education nonprofit said California needs 1.7 million more adults with college credentials by 2025 to meet the state's workforce needs. To reach that goal, 60% of adults need to finish a college program — a four-year degree from the University of California or Cal State University or a certificate or two-year associate degree from the California Community Colleges.
But the report found significant shortfalls:
- Only 47% of adults between ages 18 and 24 were enrolled in college in 2014-15, far short of the 71% target.
- The state added 12,583 adults with college credentials in 2015 but needs to produce 23,000 more annually.
- Only 43% of high school students completed a college-ready curriculum with at least a C grade in 2014-15, but two-thirds need to do so.
The report called for more funding, support and streamlined programs to equip students with the academic preparation and financial aid needed both to enroll in college and to graduate.
"We urgently need a new commitment and vision for higher education that produces more college graduates for our economy and keeps the promise of college opportunity, regardless of your race, income or zip code," Michele Siqueiros, the nonprofit's president, said in a statement.
You can read the analysis here.