Mary Gwen Wheeler hopes that 50 percent of Louisville’s ages 22 and older population will have a college degree by the year 2020.
Wheeler is executive director of 55,000 Degrees, an economic prosperity initiative aimed at creating a more college-achieving culture in Louisville. One of its messages is to push the college message to public and private high schools students, making sure they know that degrees are vital these days in this global economy.
“After looking at census numbers, an additional 40,000 bachelor’s degrees must be earned by 2020, along with 15,000 associate degrees to reach our goal of 55,000,” Wheeler says. “Another key point is that more than 100,000 adults currently in the Louisville area have some college education but never earned their degrees.”
Wheeler says the Community Foundation of Louisville is a key backer of 55,000 Degrees, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is the 55,000 Degrees board chairman.
“We all know that our education system is important, since the youth in schools today will be the leaders in jobs tomorrow,” Fischer says. “Through our 55,000 Degrees program, the city and area universities are working to help our students get the knowledge they need and the degrees necessary to become a key player in our economy.”
Meanwhile, other aspects of education in Greater Louisville include:
Jefferson County Public Schools
Louisville is home to Jefferson County Public Schools, which has 100,000 students in 155 schools and learning centers. There are more than 6,400 teachers, with 83 percent of those teachers holding a master’s degree or higher. More than $110 million in college scholarships was awarded to Class of 2011 JCPS students.
Private and Parochial Schools
There is an array of private and parochial school choices in Louisville. For example, Louisville’s Christian Academy School System serves nearly 3,000 students from preschool through 12th grade on four campuses. The Archdiocese of Louisville also offers several Catholic schools in the area, including 39 elementary schools enrolling more than 14,000 students, and nine high schools with more than 6,000 students combined.
Learn about more schools in Louisville.