Higher education officials announced earlier this year that they'd far exceeded their completion benchmark for the first year of the initiative. Oklahoma's public colleges and universities, together with private schools and CareerTech centers, had expected to produce 1,700 additional degrees and certificates during the 2011-2012 academic year. In September, officials announced public colleges and universities alone had produced 1,900 more graduates.
Officials have warned that the first year of the initiative was likely the easiest, and that the program may not see similar success in the years to come. Although the next 11 years are uncertain, Elmer said, faculty members are committed to working with higher education officials to meet those goals.