The launch of “55,000 Degrees” a couple of weeks ago represents a groundbreaking initiative – and a milestone for Louisville and its region.
It’s the day that civic, business, and education leaders from across the community pushed forward on their commitment to raise education attainment. It’s the day that we, as a community, demonstrated the recognition that in order to compete for a better future, we must raise the bar on education attainment.
“It’s a new vision for our community,” the brochure outlining 55,000 Degrees says, “Shaped by a groundbreaking collaboration among top education, business and civic leaders.”
Now it’s up to them as leaders – and all of us as citizens, parents, students, mentors, teachers, and friends – to bring that commitment to life by attaining 55,000 more bachelor and associate degrees by 2020.
It will be a long haul, but the bodacious goal puts the size of the challenge in perspective and illustrates the size of the threat if we fail.
The number that became the name represents the number of new degree holders – 40% of the working-age population – needed to move Louisville in the top tier among its peer cities in bachelor degree holders. The goal for associate’s degrees represents what it will take for 10% of the population to hold that degree.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this movement that brought together leaders from across the region in both K-12 education and postsecondary education, along with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, and Greater Louisville Inc.’s Business Leaders for Education.
The goal is out there – the commitments by leaders have been signed, sealed, and delivered. Now we need to make it happen – and hold our leaders accountable for following through on the commitment to organize large-scale, sustained action to raise education attainment.
Check out more about the plans for action and find out how to get involved by visiting the new website 55000degrees.com