We've passed a milestone in postsecondary education in Arkansas! Now, more than 50% of public high school seniors attend some sort of higher education institute, according to a state Department of Higher Education report. Time to get out the cake and balloons.
More specifics and less positive figures:
The rate for all public and private institutions increased from the previous fall by 4.8 percentage points to 51.7 percent. Officials said the percentage reflects the accessibility of higher education as well as students’ assessment of the value of attending college when compared to working, entering the military, traveling or other pursuits.
The fall 2010 entering class had a remediation rate of 23.7 percent for students who had graduated from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA. Nearly 49 percent of those students attending a two-year college were remediated in one or more courses, with 20 percent of those attending universities enrolled in remedial coursework. Additionally, research shows 15.1 percent of students attempted a remediation course two or more times.
In comparison, the fall 2009 entering class had a remediation rate of 25.1 percent, with 46.7 percent of those attending a two-year college in remediation and 19.8 percent of those at a university taking remedial coursework. Those attempting a remediation course two or more times was slightly lower than the 2010 class at 14.9 percent.
More from the report on minority hiring, bond issues and athletic budgets on the the jump.
Minority Recruitment and Retention Report
A report on institutional plans and efforts to recruit and retain minority faculty and staff showed growth in total faculty from 2000 to 2009 of approximately 1,000. Approximately 15 percent indicated his or her race as black, Hispanic or other — an increase of approximately five percent. Staff numbers increased by approximately 1,700 during that same time period and also reflected a minority increase of five percent.
Student enrollment has increased from 105,000 in 2000 to 156,000 in 2009, with minorities representing 23 percent and 31 percent respectively.
Economic Feasibility of Bond Issue
In other business, the board approved a request from Arkansas Tech University to issue bonds not to exceed $12.5 million with a term of up to 30 years at an estimated annual interest rate not to exceed 5.25 percent. Proceeds from the bond issue will be used to construct a five-story residence hall.
Certification of Intercollegiate Athletic Budgets for 2011-2012
The board approved operating budgets for all public institutions, certifying sufficient revenues will be generated to meet expenditures or that any athletic deficit will be met by separate student athletic fees. A summary shows 45 percent of athletic program budgets — excluding University of Arkansas — are being funded by student athletic fees, while 25.8 percent comes from athletic-generated revenues and other athletic income. The remaining 12 percent is funded from other auxiliary profits and athletic income.