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Our Strategy: Enrollment

Reaching our goal of 70% educational attainment for adults in Washington begins with enrollment. Only 50% of Washington students enroll in postsecondary education within one year of high school graduation and 47% of adults in Washington don’t have a postsecondary credential.  

Potential students must navigate through the systems of their high schools, colleges, and universities in order to further their education. Students navigate these systems in the context of their communities, consisting of family members, peers, teachers, neighbors, and co-workers. In this way, the influence of both communities and systems determines a student’s academic achievement.

Our values – making postsecondary attainment accessible for all communities:

  • All Washington residents should have a clear and accessible path to enroll in any form of postsecondary education, including traditional degrees, career-technical education certificates, credentials, apprenticeships, and more.
  • Washington’s effort to increase enrollment should be particularly focused on supporting students of color—especially Black, Indigenous, and Latino students—who have been historically and institutionally marginalized from accessing postsecondary education.
  • Washington should directly invest in regional partnerships to build a supportive infrastructure, including providing technical assistance and access to resources that will lead to increased postsecondary enrollment for residents.

Our work – developing programs and resources, catalyzing partnerships to increase collaboration, and administering state investments through:

  • A range of dual credit programs that enable students to complete college-level courses in high school and potentially earn college credits with high school credits.
  • Generous state coverage of dual credit costs for all students, including programs such as College in the High School and Running Start.
  • State-funded Regional Challenge Grants that support place-based community partnerships with a focus on equitably increasing postsecondary access and success.
  • Access to web-based information and digital tools to support high school and working-age adults in navigating enrollment into college and other programs.

Looking forward – where we see growth and opportunities:

Students continue to face challenges, such as receiving early access to information on available postsecondary opportunities and finding timely and relevant academic and financial aid resources. Through increased collaborations with stakeholders we hope to uncover policies and practices that can be appropriately elevated to the state level.