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Degrees and Certificates


Increase the number of degrees and certificates obtained from 40,484 in 2014 to 47,284 by 2018.

What does this measure?

It measures postsecondary degrees, including credentials, certificates, associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees, and certificate growth in the state.

Why is this important?

Since the 2008 recession, 93% of the income in the country has been generated by bachelor's degree holders. Obtaining postsecondary education correlates with employment, wage increases, health care coverage, increased social capital (such as voter participation) and volunteerism.

What do the results mean?

Oklahoma is increasing its postsecondary attainment at a relatively quick pace, but started out behind, not only many other states, but also the projections of certificate, credential and degree holders needed in the economy by 2025.

What actions are we taking?

The Complete College America (CCA) initiative is the one intervention. Some key elements of CCA are:

  • High School Readiness – more concurrent enrollment, Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPA) testing, GearUP, better aligned math and English courses;
  • Remediation Reform – with remediation rates of students coming from high school over 40%, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) and the campuses are all pursuing ways to speed up and avoid remediation through summer bridge courses, condensed remedial sequences, co-requisite courses, better assessment and advisement to get students into the correct courses for their majors;
  • Guided Pathways to Success – enhanced and intrusive advisement of students, including early warning systems for course failure, electronic degree sheets, cooperative alliances with career tech and financial aid targeting; and
  • Reach Higher – adult degree completion initiatives designed to help adult and non-traditional students with some college credits to complete their degrees using convenient schedules, degree options and online access, and a performance budgeting model that incentivizes degree completion rather than enrollment and peer cost.

Additional Statewide Initiatives are:

  • Oklahoma Career Guide ( - an easy online tool available for all Oklahomans to explore and guide their future. You can take assessments, identify occupations, establish education plans (grades 6 through adult) and, ultimately, connect to employers. Whether you are a student searching for career and college options or an adult looking for a new career path, OK Career Guide is a powerful tool to provide all the career and educational resources you will need to chart your course for the future. Modules for elementary coming soon (Fall 2017).
  • OK College Start ( the OSRHE website that provides guidance on academic plans in high school for college success, financial aid information and advice for paying for college, career planning information on career paths, compensation, and employment outlook for college aspirants.  Additionally it provides a portal for electronic submission of college application materials including high school transcripts. It also provides a link to each campus with information about admissions, housing etc. as well as way to set up personal accounts to track all the above information. OK College Start has been around for almost 10 years.
  • Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship- the signature access scholarship program for the higher education system.  OK Promise provides materials and training to high school counselors about college preparation and the requirements of the scholarships. Students who successfully complete the requirements and whose family income is $50,000 or below will receive free college tuition at public institutions in Oklahoma.
  • Summer Math and Science Academies ( Students can spend time at an Oklahoma college or university and discover the fascinating worlds of aeronautics, forensic science, engineering, environmental conservation and much more!
  • GEAR UP ( students and their families prepare for college.
  • Free pre-ACT test
  • ACT National Career Readiness Certificate- an industry-recognized, portable, research-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success. This credential is used across all sectors of the economy and documents the following cognitive skills:
    • Problem-solving
    • Critical thinking
    • Reading and using work-related text
    • Applying information from workplace documents to solve problems
    • Applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems
    • Setting up and performing work-related mathematical calculations
    • Locating, synthesizing, and applying information that is presented graphically
    • Comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information presented in multiple related graphics
  • WorkKeys® Assessments- individuals can earn the ACT NCRC by taking three WorkKeys® assessments:
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Locating Information
    • Reading for Information
  • WorkKeys Assessments Benefits- measure real-world skills that employers believe are critical to job success. The benefits of WorkKeys include:
    • Helps you compete in today's job market
    • Provides a portable, nationally recognized credential
    • Builds confidence because your skills meet the needs of employers
    • Helps you get and keep a job
    • Qualifies you for promotions within a company
    • Can be listed as an achievement on a scholarship application
    • Promotes career advancement and change
    • Provides skill upgrade training
  • Increase the number of CareerTech industry credentials earned
  • Governor's Council Career Pathways Sub-Committee- makes recommendations, informs, coordinates and facilitates statewide efforts to improve Oklahomans’ exposure to high-demand career and entrepreneurship opportunities, along with the education and training required for entry into and advancement within a chosen career. It also develops industry sector strategies in state and regional ecosystems to ensure that the education and training system is delivering the skills needed by employers.​
  • Oklahoma Works ( is an initiative to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through facilitating quality employment for workers and ready availability of highly skilled talent for business and industry. The initiative is a coalition of state agencies, educational institutions, businesses and other partners.

Sources : Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education | Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education