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Understanding the Value of Education: A Critical Component of a Major Social Change Effort
AHRD Research Conference of the Americas (2012)
  • Susan R. Madsen, Utah Valley University
  • Cheryl Hanewicz, Utah Valley University
  • Nicolle Johnson, Utah Valley University
  • Jessica Burnham, Utah Valley University
Receiving the benefits of postsecondary education is important to nations throughout the world. A more educated citizenry results in, among other things, less crime and poverty, increased physical and mental health of individuals, and greater economic growth (e.g., American Human Development Project, 2009; Pascarella, & Terenzini, 2005). These benefits are felt at all levels of society (i.e., individual, community, and national) and essentially define the social and economic structure of a nation. According to a Lumina Foundation (2009) report “college-attainment rates are rising in almost every industrialized or post-industrial country in the world, except the U.S.” (p.1). The graduation rate in the United States has been steady at 39% for the past four decades while some nations now have more than 50% of their young adults ages 24-34 obtaining college degrees (Lumina Foundation, 2009). This would be relatively insignificant if the U.S. was showing marked improvement in degree obtainment, but it is not. In fact, while other nations continue to improve their attainment rates, the U.S. remains stagnant (Lumina Foundation, 2009). In order to advance the competitiveness in the global economy and to attain at minimum, parity with other countries throughout the world, a major social change effort needs to be made.
  • Utah,
  • women,
  • social change,
  • education
Publication Date
Spring March 2, 2012
Citation Information
Susan R. Madsen, Cheryl Hanewicz, Nicolle Johnson and Jessica Burnham. "Understanding the Value of Education: A Critical Component of a Major Social Change Effort" AHRD Research Conference of the Americas (2012)
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