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Research Aiding Education and Economy

We hear so much about how Arkansas is 49th in the nation for education, but that really depends on how you break the statistics up. For instance, the Census Bureau documented Arkansas as 49th for the number of adults under the age of 25 with bachelor degrees, which includes less than 19 percent of the under-25 population. Massachusetts ranks first with over 38 percent…that’s twice as many degree-holders! When you broaden the category to all adults, then Arkansas ranks 50th.

But it’s not all about simply owning a college diploma. With graduation rates in the state around 20 percent for four-year attendances and close to 39 percent for six-year attendances, according to data from The Chronicle of Higher Education, clearly a lot of students drop-out. What should the universities do to retain more students through graduation?

Another issue addressed in the video is the thousands of graduates leaving the state every year.  Their earnings contribute to other states’ economies, and not Arkansas’.

The solution to both of these problems, as Chancellor Gearhart said in a University of Arkansas video, is to integrate teaching and research.

In high school (and earlier…and later) many students complain about how the content they must learn in school does not apply to the real world. Academia and major corporations alike invest in research. Research experience alongside formal instruction not only applies concepts that students learn to a lab setting, but the lab setting easily applies those concepts to real world careers.

You can also put it on your résumé.

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