Educational attainment in Stark County has risen since 2001, but will need to rise even faster to match the national average in the decades ahead. -Strengthening Stark Report: A Call for Economic Transformation, 2017
Last week's edition of Issues addressed progress of the Stark Region's recent high school students. Today we look at education beyond high school - and the news is good. More than 3,600 colleges and universities - enrolling over 99 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions - provide data to The National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker. Student Tracker data reflect high school graduates who go to college within two years after high school. The Stark Region's 2018 data - aggregated by Student Tracker and made available by Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC) - indicate that 62% enrolled within two years.
Enrolling is an important first step in the "To and Through" process of attaining a degree. Student Tracker 2018 data demonstrate that 88% of Stark Region enrollees at 4-year institutions persisted to their sophomore year at any college or university; 68% of Stark Region enrollees at 2-year institutions persisted to their second year at any college or university.
The following Census Bureau American Community Survey data for Stark County reflect the impact of a convergence of strategies: College Credit Plus, Timken Early College High School, Career Tech opportunities to earn college credit, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and high school college access programs.
As 18-24 year old high school graduates join the Stark County workforce, data indicate that an increasing portion of the population has an education beyond high school. Over 43% of the group has earned an associate degree or some college credit/no degree. An additional 2,535 adults 18-24 have earned a bachelor's degree or higher.
Stark County adults 25 years and over have a combined associate, bachelor's, graduate or professional degree attainment of 30.1% - an increase from 18% in 2012.