Of course, as we noted last week, this also means the education foundation of students preparing for high school needs shoring up.
Higher education officials also know they must do a better job of getting their students to the finish line. In his comments during a recent visit to Oklahoma City, Richard Petrick of the Business Alliance for Higher Education and the Economy mentioned a variety of efforts and factors impacting Oklahoma's efforts to produce more college graduates. One in particular stuck out.
Petrick talked about challenges for first-generation college students and that more structured academic programs and “intrusive counseling” for some students might help more of them reach the graduation stage.
Those thoughts are a bit off-track to conventional higher education thinking that places a premium on independence and students mostly charting their own course. But it might be a valuable point of discussion in a state with a fair number of students whose family history might have little or no college experience. Status quo thinking isn't likely to help Oklahoma close the education gap or grow our economy to a further position of strength.