closing equity gaps to ensure minnesota's future
What is Forward Together?
A collaborative discussion among leaders in education, industry and community focused on reaching the educational attainment goal by increasing the number of adults enrolling in and completing an education or training program in Minnesota.
What is the educational attainment goal?
In 2015, the Minnesota State Legislature set a goal to get 70 percent of Minnesotans within each racial and ethnic group, ages 25-44, to obtain a postsecondary certificate or higher by 2025.
After more than a year of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota is looking forward to a brighter future, with increased opportunity for all Minnesotans to skill-up, earn a college credential, and improve their economic outlook. As the state works toward the goal of eliminating educational attainment gaps, Forward Together partners are engaging with community leaders to identify ways to build momentum and strategies to bolster local support.
Educational attainment refers to the highest level of education an individual has completed. With the vast majority of jobs across the nation requiring a post-high school education or training, the State of Minnesota recognizes the need for an educational system that makes learning accessible across all racial and ethnic groups.
How Close Are We?
Credentials Needed by Race and Ethnicity
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s vision for eliminating educational attainment gaps in Minnesota by 2025, includes:
Ensuring all high school graduates have a postsecondary career plan
Guaranteeing all high school graduates are prepared for postsecondary course level work
Eliminating postsecondary enrollment gaps among racial and ethnic groups by 2025
Eliminating gaps in postsecondary persistence and completion rates among racial and ethnic groups by 2025
Reengaging adults with some college, no degree, or adults with no prior postsecondary experience
Why DOes it Matter?
Education and training positively impact the economic stability and well-being of Minnesotans. According to data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), over 68 percent of the jobs that pay a sustainable living wage require education or training beyond high school.
With high educational attainment, consumer consumption grows, businesses grow, and larger investments are made into community institutions, leading to a more prosperous state.
Research and data suggest that educational attainment also plays a role in determining an individual’s earning power long after graduation.
Across all degree levels, data on the class of 2010’s hourly wages shows that their earning power grew significantly from the second to the eighth year after graduation. Hourly wages for graduates with a certificate rose 43.3 percent over that period, while the hourly earning power of individuals with a graduate degree increased by 35.4 percent.
The only way to reach our goal is to work together.
Leaders in education, industry, public service, government and other stakeholders champion the education and training goals by spreading the word to family members, business networks and the greater community.
Additionally, the Forward Together Ambassadors Program trains and enables volunteers to play a key role in spreading the word about education and training opportunities for adults.
Forward Together Ambassadors are catalysts who open the door to a conversation with someone who may not have known how -or with whom- to talk about attending an education or training program and the resources available to them to earn their credentials.