BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — According to the Louisiana Board of Regents, only 47% of Louisiana’s residents have a higher education. The board says in order for the state to move forward, that number must be higher.

“We are a state gripped by poverty, and poverty crushes hope,” Kim Hunter Reed, commissioner of the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Reed says by 2030 the state wants more than 60% of Louisiana’s population to have some sort of higher education — but it won’t be an easy task. “Obviously the more people who have education, the more they can support themselves and their families,” Reeds continued.

Reed says a more significant percent of the younger generation is not choosing college. However, Gov. John Bel Edwards believes, his almost billion-dollar investment in education will change this. “You can do it if you are consistent across an entire generation and if you will start in early childhood, which we have done, and make sure that those investments grow and that they’re smart and they’re strategic. And you do it in K-through-12 and you do it in higher, and we’re doing all of that today,” Edwards explained.

But that’s only half the work. The 2023 Meauxmentum Summit hopes to teach over 40 colleges three different approaches to encourage enrollment. “Equity experts. And so they have looked at research on how to make sure minority students are getting better outcomes. We have someone who is doing adult education very well. We have individuals who are here that work on mindset,” Reed discussed.

After the summit, colleges must show a 30-day plan on how they will implement those approaches. “We feel good about the plan of action, but we’re going to be checking and following up,” Reed said.

The Louisiana Board of Regents hopes this will help the state achieve the goal of having 60% of the population obtain some sort of higher education.