NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A large majority of Tennesseans think Gov. Bill Lee should devote as much or more time and resources on higher education and workforce development as did his predecessor, Gov. Bill Haslam, according to a statewide survey commissioned by WGU Tennessee.
The survey also found that a large majority of Tennesseans believe that Gov. Lee's administration should make access and affordability of college and technical training a high priority, and a majority think state government should do more to ensure public school students are prepared for college-level work, while almost half say the state should increase its funding for college education.
The study, conducted by the Dallas-based market research firm Dynata, surveyed 600 randomly selected registered voters who are currently employed to gauge attitudes and opinions regarding higher education issues, including financial aid for traditional and online degree programs. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
"The results show there is solid support for helping more Tennesseans have access to post-secondary education and training," said Dr. Kimberly Estep, chancellor of WGU Tennessee, a state-endorsed online nonprofit university. "They also show that online degree programs are rated highly for quality."
A majority, 58 percent, think online degree programs are about the same or better than traditional, in-person programs.
Dr. Estep said WGU Tennessee plans to do annual tracking surveys to compare results against the benchmark 2019 study. "The information is not only useful for WGU Tennessee, but we think it is also of interest to others involved in higher education, to legislators and policy makers, and to the general public."
Among the key findings of the survey:
Access the complete survey and results by visiting tennessee.wgu.edu/survey.
The study used a blended methodology: 350 randomly selected respondents were interviewed by telephone (35 percent landline, 65% cellphone), and 250 responses were completed through an online sample screened for demographics.
The major demographic groups within the sample were at or near proportionate to the actual adult populations in Tennessee: female 53%, male 47%; Middle Tennessee 38%, East Tennessee 37%, and West Tennessee 25%; white 81%, African-American 11%, and Hispanic/Other 5%; 18–34 years old 18%; 35–44 years old 23%; 45–64 years old 49%, and 65 and older 10%. Because the sample was screened for registered voters and those currently employed, the 18–34 age group was underrepresented and the 45–64 age group was slightly overrepresented. Also, African-Americans were slightly underrepresented.
About WGU Tennessee
WGU Tennessee is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established to expand Tennesseans' access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Tennessee is open to all qualified Tennessee residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.
Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).*
In addition to WGU Tennessee, there are seven other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010; WGU Washington, established in April 2011; WGU Texas, established in August 2011; WGU Missouri, established in February 2013; WGU Nevada, established in June 2015; WGU North Carolina, established in October 2017; and WGU Ohio, established in February 2018.
For more information, visit the WGU Tennessee website, tennessee.wgu.edu, or call 855-948-8495.
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-tennesseans-want-sustained-commitment-to-higher-ed-300807042.html
SOURCE Western Governors University