SUNY sees education in New York State as a pipeline that extends from birth to retirement years—and finds ways to close the gaps that impede success.
An educated population is the foundation of economic growth. Studies show that in the years ahead, almost half of the jobs will require at least some college experience. Already, the 30 fastest-growing fields demand a minimum of a bachelor's degree. At first glance, New York State may seem well-positioned for this new age: we rank fifth in the nation in terms of the percentage of the workforce that holds a bachelor's degree or higher. But in reality, more and more of our young people are being sidelined from the knowledge economy. Nearly three in 10 students fail to graduate from high school in four years. And only six in 10 of those who make it to graduation do so with a Regents Diploma—a critical indicator of college readiness. What's more, far too many students who enter the higher education system need remedial coursework, a level of unpreparedness that jeopardizes their success in college and career.
Working adults face equally discouraging odds. Skills and experiences that once served them well are now overshadowed by the enormous economic and technological changes in the workplace and the expanding opportunities for workers with knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We must help our population retool.
SUNY will seek ways to minimize attrition throughout the "cradle to career" pipeline, with a particular focus on developing highly effective teachers. Targeting our resources wisely, we will make a huge impact on the individual and collective prospects of New Yorkers.