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More Utah Women Complete College, Still Not Caught Up With Nation

Anna Botz via Wikimedia Commons

A professor at Utah Valley University who founded the Utah Women in Education Project says women in the state continue to lag behind the rest of the nation in college graduation rates, despite gains in recent years. Dr. Susan Madsen was speaking at an annual meeting of the independent research group Utah Foundation.

The focus of this year’s Utah Foundation meeting was growing the state’s economy with graduates.

Dr. Susan Madsen, a keynote speaker at the event says in a statewide comparison between men and women, women are outpacing men by about 6 percent.

“It looks like we’re doing great but when we look at women to women nationally, we’re still well below the national average, even though we’ve made some great gains," Madsen says.

Madsen says the Utah percentage of bachelor degrees awarded to women-47 percent- is the lowest of all 50 States.

“My argument is that we can do a lot of messaging out there for both. But sometimes women often hear messages differently.”

Madsen says women need to understand that they can continue to go to school after they have children-that it’s not an all or nothing prospect. She says nearly all women who do not attend college or dropped out say they believed at the time they would go back and get their degree. But Madsen says statistics show that usually doesn’t happen.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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