Statistics show that only 20 percent of the adult population in Mississippi has a college degree, but a legislative Task Force co-chaired by Senate Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman Doug Davis hopes to increase that percentage by studying the issue and recommending relevant policy changes.

The Graduation Task Force was created by House Bill 488 which was passed during the 2009 Regular Session. Members will focus on improving student achievement and access to educational opportunities, as well as a range of other topics.

The group will next meet on August 26 at the State Institutions of Higher Learning building on Ridgewood Road in Jackson.

“We must make sure the proper policies are in place to ensure that Mississippi is not only providing students with a quality education, but that educational entities are working together to meet that goal,” Senator Davis said. “We must review the system and be honest about where reform is needed.”

Increasing the percentage of adults with higher degrees is an economic issue, he added.

“Our students need to be able to compete with students across the nation when they graduate and businesses that look to locate here need a competent and innovative workforce,” Senator Davis said. “I look forward to working with House Universities and Colleges Chairman Kelvin Buck, who will co-chair the committee with me, and other members of the Task Force as we attempt to make positive changes for the betterment of our state.”

Other members of the Task Force include the Chairman of the House and Senate Education Committees, State Superintendent of Education or their designee, Commissioner of Higher Education or their designee, Director of the State Board of Community and Junior Colleges or their designee, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges and the State Board of Education, a representative of the Governor’s office appointed by the Governor and two university presidents.

Senator Doug Davis Press Release