Lofty goals from the Lone Star State.

Inside Higher Education writes:

Big Completion Goals in Texas

In order to stay competitive regionally and globally, states have been pushing for more residents to earn a college degree or certificate.

It’s an initiative that has been picking up steam across the country, as free-two-year college programs grow and colleges work on closing achievement gaps — all in an effort to get more college credentials into the hands of America’s workers.

Texas has become the latest state to join the college completion agenda. Last month the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopted a new goal for 60 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds in the state to hold a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030. Currently, only 38 percent of Texans between those ages have a degree. The initiative matches a similar law that was passed in the state in 2013.

“The goal is to re-establish higher education as an engine of social and economic mobility in Texas,” said Raymund Paredes, the state’s commissioner of higher education. “We’ll make an argument for increasing investment in higher education, improving efficiencies, and students have to get through as quickly as possible. It’ll be a shared responsibility model.”

The plan, known as 60x30TX, guides the state toward having at least 550,000 students each year earn a certificate, associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree by 2030. As of 2014, the state was producing nearly 300,000 graduates annually.