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Strategic Action Plan

Picture of 2017-19 Strategic Action Plan report cover

The 2019-21 Strategic Action Plan outlines strategies and investments to meet Washington's educational attainment goals:

  • All adults in Washington, ages 25-44, will have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • At least 70 percent of Washington adults, ages 25-44, will have a postsecondary credential.

Meeting the Challenge

Reaching the educational attainment goals hinges on the state’s determination to address four critical challenge areas:

  • Create Affordable, High-Quality Pathways that provide multiple routes to completion of certificates and degrees, including apprenticeships and other career-connected learning opportunities.
  • Close Opportunity Gaps by confronting barriers for underserved students and providing support for underrepresented students throughout their academic careers. 
  • Support Regional Leaders by addressing regional workforce shortages and by engaging and supporting regional efforts, responsive to regional needs and competitive advantages, to accelerate educational attainment.
  • Reconnect Adult Learners through recruitment and support efforts to encourage the completion of degrees and credentials for students who have earned some academic credit. 

2019-21 Strategic Action Plan Recommendations

Washington must invest in an array of programs targeting every level of the education system.

Create Affordable, High-Quality Pathways

Affordability constraints impede students’ abilities to select from multiple options, regardless of their economic circumstances. 

  • Fully fund and forecast the State Need Grant program
  • Amply fund public institutions
  • Target aid to students from middle-income families
  • Pilot a savings matching incentive program

Close Educational Opportunity Gaps

The complexity of issues affecting the opportunity gap necessitates a systemic approach to improve equity.

  • Increase the number of counselors
  • Expand support for College Bound Scholars
  • Increase financial aid applications with additional training and events
  • Improve dual-credit opportunities for low-income students 
  • Expand student supports on college campuses

Support Regional Leaders

Sustainable momentum in improving educational attainment relies on regional efforts. 

  • Build a pipeline to meet regional workforce shortages
  • Engage regional leaders and support local efforts
  • Expand career-connected learning opportunities

Reconnect Adult Learners

Adults without accessible and affordable options to complete postsecondary education will not have access to living-wage jobs. 

  • Offer enrollment navigation guidance to returning adults
  • Expand child care funding
  • Target outreach to working-aged adults
  • Utilize Guided Pathways to ensure efficient completion
  • Provide technical assistance to institutions to serve adult learners