North Dakota is one of 13 states that have agreed to a program designed to raise the percentage of Americans with a college degree or high-quality certification.
It comes from the Lumina Foundation.
"The economy is rapidly changing," said North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott. "Certificates are becoming a key component of that. It may take too long to get a four-year degree for some of the coming changes."
Hagerott said North Dakota colleges and universities want to help more adult learners gain those certificates. He said it’s also good for undergrads.
"North Dakota has among the highest numbers of student to go to college," Hagerott said. "But if the economy is changing rapidly, within a cycle of a four year degree, a certificate could be a way to send a message to employers that we have people ready to enter the field."
Lumina recently hosted a meeting in Bismarck – to discuss the program with educators, businesses and politicians.