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Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education

Report: Nebraska schools see increase in STEM grads, overall number of degrees and other awards

Nebraska colleges and universities conferred nearly 19 percent more degrees, diplomas and certificates in 2016 than they did in 2006, while the state’s private institutions have seen a dramatic rise in the number of master’s degrees they award. Meanwhile, STEM fields account for an increasing share of majors for Nebraska graduates.

Those findings and others are included in a new report, A Factual Look at Higher Education in Nebraska: Degrees and Other Awards, released by the Coordinating Commission this week. The commission uses federal data to examine trends in degrees and awards granted by Nebraska public and private institutions.

Among the trends:

  • Nebraska’s public and private institutions and for-profit/career schools conferred a total of 30,647 degrees, diplomas and certificates during the one-year period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Over the 10-year period from academic year 2005-06 to 2015-16, the total number of degrees conferred increased by 18.7 percent.
  • Among the schools with the largest increases during the 10-year period: University of Nebraska at Omaha (40.3%), Central Community College (43.6%), Metropolitan Community College (45.1%) and Creighton University (43.4%).
  • The number of master’s degrees awarded by Nebraska independent institutions more than doubled between academic year 2005-06 and 2015-16, from 1,309 to 2,676.
  • Among all sectors of Nebraska higher education, awards in STEM disciplines have increased 31.6 percent during the last 10 years, the highest increase among all disciplines.
  • The state’s community colleges have seen a 41.5 percent increase during the last 10 years in the number of less-than-four-year certificates it awards. They awarded 15.7 percent more associate’s degrees in that time, but 7.6 percent less from 2015 to 2016.

The entire report, as well as many others, is available on the Commission website. The Commission is the only entity in the state that gathers, analyzes, and reports on postsecondary data from all sectors.