Governor's Higher Education Task Force comes up with recommendations

Posted at 10:11 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-16 00:11:21-04

After months of meetings, the Governor's Higher Education Task Force has come up with a dozen recommendations to help more Idahoans complete a college degree or postsecondary education. From funding To accessibility, the task force has come up with recommendations that are now headed to the governor's desk. The 36 members of the task force have worked since February to come up with the ideas that unanimously passed on Friday. 

"To get that many people to come together and agree on anything is no small task," said Bob Lokken the Task Forces co-chair. 

The task force, which includes legislators, university, and business leaders from across the state, recommended everything from partnering with industries to providing more money for scholarships Their goal is to see more Idahoans going beyond a high school diploma. One of the obstacles they're trying to overcome, the financial burden of additional schooling. 

"We really had such a variety of prospects I think it really helped us enrich the process and get better results," said Representative Ilana Rubel who serves on the task force. 

One recommendation the task force came up with is a statewide digital campus. A move they see as an affordable option students can access anytime and anywhere and would tap into already existing systems.  

"I don't ever want to see that replace the in-person experience but I think it would be great to have both options," said Rubel. 

While the task force wants 60% of Idaho's 25 to 34-year-olds to have a post-secondary degree. The group initially hoped to achieve that goal but 2020, but after the recession, they say 2025 is more a realistic goal. 

"One of the things we did a year by year roadmap on exactly how we are going to get there and if we hit those numbers year in year out for the next eight years we will be there," said Lokken.
The task force will be sending the recommendations to the governor in two weeks. For a complete list, visit our media partner Idaho Education News.