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NEW REPORT: The Path to 70% Credential Attainment

Demand for workers with postsecondary credentials is higher than ever; 40% of Washington high school students earn a credential today.

An estimated 40% of students from Washington’s high school class of 2015 will complete a postsecondary credential – such as a degree, apprenticeship, or certificate – by age 26, according to a new report from Washington Roundtable and Partnership for Learning. That number is up nine points from a reported 31% for the high school class of 2006. Washington is making progress in improving its credential attainment rate, though not fast enough. The state must more than double the average annual growth rate in credential attainment among its students to hit a 70% credential attainment goal set for the high school class of 2030.

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Key Findings:

  • Among Washington high school students, the credential attainment rate by age 26 will go from 31% for the high school class of 2006 to an estimated 40% for the high school class of 2015.
  • To reach the 70% credential attainment goal by the high school class of 2030, Washington must more than double the average annual growth rate in credential attainment – going from 0.9% per year to 2%.

  • The high school graduation rate has been improving, moving from 75% for the high school class of 2006 to 82% for the class of 2015. Despite this improvement, the percentage of high school graduates enrolling in postsecondary education has remained stagnant.
  • Closing race-, income-, and gender-based achievement gaps is essential. Credential attainment for white and Asian students is projected to be two to three times higher than that of Native American, Hispanic, or black students, depending on the subgroup. Also, just 31% of boys are projected to complete a credential by age 26, compared to 47% of girls.
  • Washington needs to turn in nation-leading performance on some key metrics to hit the 70% attainment goal. Benchmark targets for the class of 2030 include:

Learn more about opportunities for action at

This report is the third in our “Washington Kids for Washington Jobs” series. Visit us online to download the report, fact sheet, infographic, and more.

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