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North Carolina has set a goal for 2 million adults ages 25-44 in the state to have a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030; this represents about 67% of adults between the ages of 25-44 with a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or associate degree or higher. Today, less than half of North Carolinians have such qualifications, and projections show the state's current workforce will not meet the number of highly trained workers that will be needed to meet demands over the next decade. In collaboration with the John M. Belk Endowment, Carolina Demography mapped out a complete picture of North Carolina's postsecondary educational pipeline and identified the biggest opportunities for improvement. We focused on the public education pipeline'meaning outcomes from K-12 (NC Department of Public Instruction), the North Carolina Community College system., and the University of North Carolina system. These institutions serve the majority of our state's students and provided us with comprehensive data necessary to analyze student outcomes. Using this data, we followed 9th graders in North Carolina through our state's public education institutions for ten years and determined where they were most likely to drop out of the educational pipeline. We also examined how educational attainment across the state varies by demography and geography. Ongoing work examines the full range of postsecondary outcomes (including private and out-of-state enrollments) and takes a more detailed look at sub-state variation in outcomes.

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