Lt. Gov. Wants To Cut College Dropout Rate

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has a lofty goal – to ensure 60 percent of the state’s working-age adults are college-educated by 2025.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports, only 40 percent of adults hold a college degree today. Simon is urging Gov. Pat Quinn to sign legislation creating an incentive program for institutions that effectively retain their students until they graduate.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

Simon says enough people are being admitted to colleges and universities, now the main goal is to keep students from dropping out.

“It’s not a question of steering more and more people to colleges in the state of Illinois, it’s making sure when they walk in the door the odds are in their favor that they’re going to leave with that certificate or associates degree or four year degree that they wanted,” she said.

Simon says a panel will convene shortly after the bill is signed to set up a system of incentives.

  • Bob from tech support, India

    We can only hope we aren’t going to be graduating students from college that don’t know any more than they did when they graduated from high school. I laugh when I hear that it’s the graduating that counts as opposed to learning something. You can pass out all the degrees you want to, I still will only use/go to people that know what they are doing.

  • Just Axin

    Can someone please eliminate the office of Lt Gov so idiots like this can no longer waste our time and money?

  • bevmom

    Unless the reporting is inadequate, this sounds really stupid. Please tell me that we the taxpayers are not going to be burdened with paying for the incentive program. And meanwhile, positions that require skilled labor remain unfilled, or are outsourced out of necessity. Some people are not cut out for college; I don’t see how Ms. Simon can set a target goal for the population of Illinois.
    BTW, there are plenty of retention programs in place in public universities. Do we need another?

  • What!?!

    You want people to stay in college? Then try encouraging colleges to lower their fees. Honestly, people start college, look down the road and see that they will be graduating ten of thousands of dollars in debt, and they don’t see the purpose of it. There is a new reality that is beginning to take hold in our nation, people are beginning to see debt as a bad thing, and just starting off your life independent of ones parents with tens of thousands of dollars of debt is not the way to start it.

  • southside

    It would be more effective if the colleges passed out the answers to the tests beforehand, Sheila. We’d save money, and everyone could graduate. Hard to figure which loon is loonier, Quinn or Simon. Nice work, voters!

  • tom Sharp

    Want to increase the rates–raise the standards. You have City College “graduates” in Chicago who can’t do 7th grade math or reading who then get into a 4-year college and fail miserably because they’re actually expected to know something. You also have “athletic scholars” (almost an oxymoron), the vast majority of whom never finish school.

    The last thing you need are Incentives! The state is broke, and I’ll bet a lot that some “consultants” (i.e., patronage workers) will be involved at top pay to help create and implement the program.

    • Roberta Waker

      You are so right, Tom. Most high school students can’t read, write, spell, or speak proper English and since teachers keep passing them to the next grade; when they get into college they don’t know much of anything. And these children are our future – scary isn’t it?

  • Roberta Waker

    First of all you need a job to pay for college; second you need a job when you graduate to pay for the loans. Problem is, in Illinois THERE AREN’T ENOUGH JOBS. Just because you have a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a job; it actually might deter an employer because he will have to pay you more. Overall, this is a bad idea.

  • tom Sharp

    Earth to Ms. Simon: Did you read he front-page story in todays’ (the 26th) Tribune?It told of phony retention policies at Chicago State that have been in place for years. If you think that is the only school where such actions take place, I have bridge to sell you. This should be anther nail in the coffin for your crazy plan to incentivize the graduation rates at Illinois colleges. All that will do is create more cheating, not any more smarter graduates. It’s time to advocate trade schools and trades and basic business training programs for those not blessed with college level brains, instead creating a bunch of dunces with degrees. We have enough of those already; and some of them are in public office!

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