Number of degrees awarded rose 13.3 percent in four years
TAMPA BAY, FLA. (October 29, 2013) – Tampa Bay has been recognized by the Talent Dividend Prize, a competition designed to calculate the monetary gains metropolitan areas can achieve by increasing college attainment rates, for its significant increase in the number of post-secondary degrees awarded since the 2009-2010 academic year. After implementing a strategic plan to increase educational attainment rates, Tampa Bay saw the number of degrees awarded from year one to year three increase by 13.3 percent.
Tampa Bay was one of 57 metros in the United States to participate in the Talent Dividend Prize—that used data from the 2009-10 through 2012-13 school years to track metro areas that made the greatest increase in the number of post-secondary degrees granted per one thousand population over the four-year period.
The number of degrees awarded per 100,000 population increased from 1,298 in 2009-10 to 1,474 in 2012-13, the 8th highest increase in the country. Currently, the estimated Tampa Bay population age 25 and over with a post-secondary degree sits at 34 percent. The Talent Dividend has recognized Tampa Bay for its efforts.
“We are pleased the data reflect the efforts put forth by Tampa Bay’s leaders, and we are pleased to be recognized for our work,” said Stuart L. Rogel, President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “Having a well-educated, successful population has long been a priority and we are proud of this achievement because it recognizes the hard work of so many—educators, policymakers, business leaders and, most importantly, the students themselves.”
“I am delighted that our goal to create a seamless pathway for our students to complete their college degree through Graduate Tampa Bay was a success,” said Dr. Ken Atwater, President of Hillsborough Community College and Chairman of the Graduate Tampa Bay initiative. “We all should be very proud of the collaboration that occurred between our higher education institutions and the progress that we made in raising the educational attainment level of our community.”
To increase its education attainment rate, Tampa Bay implemented a number of new strategies, including:
· The creation of a reverse transfer agreement between Hillsborough Community College and University of South Florida to award degrees to those students who met all of the academic requirements for the associate degree, but may have transferred before the degree was conferred.
· Creation of onsite dual enrollment collegiate academies at local high schools to provide dual enrollment for exceptionally motivated students starting in the ninth grade. Students enrolled in the collegiate academies graduate with the high school diploma and associate in arts degree concurrently.
· The establishment of a consortium agreement between all Tampa Bay area state colleges (Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College, Pasco-Hernando State College, State College of Florida and Polk State College) and University of South Florida to provide guaranteed admission to USF for graduates of the state colleges.
While college completion is important for a variety of reasons, the Talent Dividend project focused specifically on the correlation between college attainment rates and per-capita income. Recent research has found that each additional percentage point improvement in aggregate adult four-year college attainment is associated with an $856 increase in annual per capita income.
“We are so proud to recognize the achievements of Tampa Bay and its peers across the country,” said Noel Harmon, National Director of the Talent Dividend. “This award is the result of years of hard work and we are hopeful Tampa Bay’s cross collaborative efforts provide inspiration and a roadmap for other cities as they work to increase post-secondary attainment.”
The Tampa Bay Partnership is the eight-county regional organization that works with its partners to market the region nationally and internationally, to conduct regional research and to coordinate efforts to influence business and governmental issues that impact economic growth and development.