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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Report: MS could do more to help people get degrees, certificates

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024   

A new report looked at how many people go on to get degrees or other education credentials after high school, and showed Mississippi has some work to do to improve its numbers.

The Lumina Foundation tracks higher ed attainment, and said 60% of working-age adults should be earning some kind of post-high-school degree. Right now, the number is just over 48% in Mississippi, and just over 54% nationwide.

Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic impact and planning for Lumina Foundation, said progress is being made. In the last year, degree attainment is up.

"Impressively this past year, 42 states along with D.C. and Puerto Rico witnessed an uptick in degree attainment, with 19 states and D.C. seeing an increase of over one percentage point," Brown reported. "A pretty large increase in degree attainment for a number of states."

When the Lumina goal was established in 2009, Brown said only 38% of adults held a certificate beyond high school. Mississippi's goal is to get to 60% of adults with a degree or certificate by the year 2035.

The report breaks down the numbers by race as well. It said more than 40% of white Mississippians have college degrees, compared to over 28% of Black residents and 23% of Hispanic residents. Brown pointed out many states have seen similar achievement gaps.

"While we've made incredible progress toward that, we're getting closer and closer, we're still seeing stubborn equity gaps, with Black and Hispanic Americans sitting on one end of the spectrum to white and Asian American sitting on the other," Brown emphasized.

Brown added nationwide, just over 10% of Black Americans had a graduate degree in the most recent data, from 2022. Back in 2009, the figure was only 6%.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


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