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The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of the generation born between 1977 and 1994, the "baby boom echo," on the demand for higher education and workforce development in Arkansas. Although the birthrate in Arkansas for this period does not correlate with the national trend, increased school enrollment and in-migration in the 1990s did track the phenomenon. Over the past 26 years, higher education headcount enrollment in Arkansas increased 159 percent. This increase may be explained by the establishment of new two-year colleges in the 1970s and new technical colleges in the 1990s, an increase in the college-going rate from 43 percent in 1980 to 55.4 percent in 1996, a 16.3 percent increase in the number of part-time students, stability in the number of older students, and in-migration during the 1990s. Based on ninth-grade enrollments in 1997, the Arkansas economy must absorb a 13.4 percent increase in workforce entrants by 1999. Assuming the educational patterns of 1990, by 2010 approximately 693,000 Arkansans will attempt to succeed in the workforce without a high school degree, while approximately 600,000 will have some level of college education. Twelve tables and seven figures chart these trends. (Contains 17 references.) (MDM)

Descriptors: College Students, Demography, Educational Demand, Employment Patterns, Enrollment Trends, Higher Education, Labor Force, Migration Patterns, Population Trends, Public Colleges

Autor: Chamberlin, Gary D.; Franklin, Kathy K.


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