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Commissioner's Monthly Message


Postsecondary Completion

As the education requirements of the workforce continue to increase, it is even more critical that every student attain some postsecondary level of education. For some, this may mean attending a four-year university after high school. For others, technical colleges, community colleges and the military play an import role.

Postsecondary completion is one of five outcomes set forth by the Kansas State Board of Education to help measure the progress of the vision: Kansas leads the world in the success of each student. The other four outcomes are Kindergarten Readiness; Individual Plan of Study Focused on Career Interest; High School Graduation Rates; and Social/Emotional Growth Measured Locally.

The Kansas State Board of Education has defined a successful Kansas high school graduate as someone who has the academic preparation, cognitive preparation, technical skills, employability skills and civic engagement to be successful in postsecondary education, in the attainment of an industry-recognized certification or in the workforce, without the need for remediation.

By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. In Kansas, that number is projected to be 71 percent, so it is critical that we increase the amount of students receiving an industry-recognized credential, an associate’s degree or a baccalaureate degree.

The Kansas State Department of Education is in the process of determining what role K-12 plays in postsecondary attainment. It could be that a student receives an industry-recognized certificate while attending high school. Or perhaps a student obtains 12 to 15 hours of college credit by the time graduation takes place. There also are Advanced Placement classes, International Baccalaureate programs and basic training in the military.

Most new jobs or job openings will be “middle skill jobs,” meaning a diploma or certificate will be required but it will be less than a four-year degree.

In 2020, the education demand for jobs in Kansas will be:

  • 11 percent master’s degree;
  • 25 percent bachelor’s degree;
  • 35 percent associate’s degree;
  • And 29 percent high school diploma or less.

It is our job to support every student and help them identify their career aspirations, prepare for postsecondary education and start down the path to becoming a successful adult.

Together, Kansans Can!


Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education photo and Signature block

Kansans Can Outcome Videos

Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson will speak about the 5 outcomes on a monthly basis.

February 2016: Individual Plan of Study (IPS) | March 2016: Social/emotional growth | April 2016: Kindergarten Readiness 


May 2016: Graduation Rates | June 2016: Postsecondary Completion/Attendance

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