State Lawmakers Discuss Higher Education - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

State Lawmakers Discuss Higher Education

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The subject of higher education has been known to stir up controversy in the state of North Dakota.

A higher education funding committee meeting was held today.

Dr. Longanecker visited with state lawmakers about issues and trends in Higher Education.

He addressed graduation rates in the University System.

While the unemployment rate in North Dakota is low, Longanecker says graduates do have difficulty finding jobs right out of college that relate to their degrees.

"I really feel for students who just got out and don't have a job. But they're still in much better shape than if they hadn't gone to college because of the jobs they will get and the future they will have," says Dr. David Longanecker, President, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (Boulder, CO).

Longanecker says 65 percent of jobs in the future will require a college education or post secondary certificate.

He says the goal is to help North Dakota understand that even with economic advantages the state needs to make changes.

"We have to find some ways in which we get more students who go to college through. We need to make sure that when they get through they're getting a quality educational experience, and we need to find a way in which we can finance that more efficiently than we have in the past because of the issues around affordability," says Longanecker.

Longanecker says North Dakota needs to find a way to make higher education more productive, and encouraged lawmakers to look at ways to lower the cost to graduates.

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