Gov. Martin O'Malley, speaking at the first statewide forum on college completion, called on Maryland's higher education institutions Tuesday to devise new ways to use technology to bolster graduation rates.
"We've done a much better job in getting people to college," O'Malley told educators assembled at Morgan State University for the forum. "We need to improve getting people through college."
O'Malley has called for 55 percent of Maryland adults to have a college degree or advanced certification by 2025. Currently, about 45 percent of Marylanders have such credentials, he said.
O'Malley urged educators to explore "new ways to use the Internet, online learning and course redesign" to broaden access to higher education.
U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter called Maryland "a state that is literally lifting the nation" in its commitment to higher education. President Barack Obama has called for 10 million more people to graduate from higher education institutions by 2020, she said.
Kanter also stressed recent strides in online learning, including the open online courses that have soared in popularity in recent years. She said she had recently met with the founder of the online learning program known as the Khan Academy, and learned how he tracks the areas in which students need additional help.
The forum also included panel discussions led by Maryland educators on increasing retention and graduation rates through programs aimed at students who are the first in their families to attend college, transfer students, and those who need remedial courses.