Boise State University President Bob Kustra spoke to all 475 students at Payette High School Thursday, urging them to consider going on for more education after graduation.
Idaho has one of the lowest “go on” rates in the nation of students starting college right after high school, but the state, its K-12 system and its public universities are working to improve that pathway — estimates show that as jobs become more technical and Baby Boomers retire, more and more people in Idaho’s workforce will need education beyond high school.
Boise State leads Idaho’s efforts to ensure that 60 percent of all Idahoans have a degree or certificate, and remains ahead of the state’s benchmarks for reaching the goal. The university has welcomed record-setting first-year classes in each of the past two years and set new records for number of graduates in each of the past nine years. The university is committed to making sure all students get the skills, experiences and hands-on opportunities they need beyond their majors to succeed at their first jobs and long into their careers.
Kustra spoke to the seniors as a group, then the juniors and then the freshmen and sophomores combined — each group is at a different stage of deciding their post-high school futures, but all have opportunities to make decisions that will affect their lives and their livelihoods for years to come.
Kustra was invited by Principal Jason Dransfield, a Meridian native who attended BYU-Idaho and Grand Canyon College before returning home to the Treasure Valley to teach and now lead.