The House Higher Education Committee met this morning for the first time this session to address the problems facing higher education for Washingtonians.
Committee Chair Rep. Larry Seaquist (D–Gig Harbor) began the meeting with a simple question – why is Washington state under-educated?
“Washington’s 25-year-olds are less educated than their parents, and less educated than the 25-year-olds in many other countries,” said Seaquist.
After introductions of the committee members, the Student Achievement Council presented their strategic recommendations. The council was created by Legislature last year primarily for the purposes of increasing the level of education attainment for Washingtonians and to identify improvements to the education process.
“We believe that to increase the higher level education attainment, you have to look at the entire system – how it’s aligned, how it’s integrated, how the students at every level are ready for the next level of education,” said Brian Baird, chair of the Washington Student Achievement Council.
The Council presented recommendations developed to address the biggest issues facing higher education:
- student readiness
- the affordability of higher education
- institutional capacity and student success (student-teacher ratios and the effect on student performance)
- technology (eLearning)
Following the presentation by the council, the committee heard from students from both four-year institutions and 2-year community and technical colleges.