Earning a credential after high school opens doors to an array of career and advancement opportunities in Washington state.
Just 40% of Washington’s high school class of 2021 is projected to complete a credential by age 26. Our Black, Hispanic and Latinx, and Native American students are earning credentials at even lower rates.
Partnership for Learning and the Washington Roundtable are leading a conversation about policy actions and implementation that seek to address inequities, increase credential attainment, and ensure more Washington youth are positioned to successfully pursue careers and opportunities in their home state.
In 2016, the Washington Roundtable set a goal: 70% of Washington students—overall and within each racial and ethnic community—will complete a postsecondary credential by age 26. This goal reflects the workforce needs of Washington employers and national and state data projecting that at least 70% of jobs in our state will be filled by workers who complete a postsecondary credential, such as a degree, apprenticeship, or industry-aligned certificate or license. Nearly a third of the progress made toward the goal since the class of 2006 was wiped out during the pandemic. The estimated credential attainment rate for the high school class of 2021 is 40%—three percentage points lower than the class of 2019 and 30 points below the goal. Read our latest report for key insights and a path forward.
Our Focus Areas
Increase the number of students who pursue and complete credentials after high school that will enable them to secure the career of their choice.
College and Career Readiness
Prepare Washington students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to succeed in college, an apprenticeship, or other training after high school.
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Research in 2021 indicated that Washington would add 373,000 net new jobs over five years, at least 70% of which will be filled by workers with a postsecondary credential. It is vitally important—to our state’s future and our residents—that more Washingtonians pursue the credentials that fuel our workforce and our economy. Yet, postsecondary enrollment stagnated through much of the last decade and declined markedly during the pandemic.
High school students in the Edmonds School District graduate at a higher rate than their peers statewide. They also enroll in post-high school education at much higher rates. What is driving the district’s outsized success?