Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's higher education task force is meeting today at Boise State University aiming to improve Idaho's continuing education rate.

Senator Janie Ward-Engelking from Boise is on the board. She is planning to share the importance of dual credits. It's an education option where high school students take college level classes while still in high school.

She believes this option will save students money and will give them some insight into the college experience. "I think it's a wonderful opportunity for our high school students who need to be continually challenged," Ward-Engelking said. "Having said that, I think it's really important that we make sure these dual credits are actually classes that they need in order to pursue the career that they are interested in."

Another issue she feels needs to be discussed during the meeting is the importance of working with community colleges and Idaho's four-year universities so credits can transfer seamlessly.

"It's a big job to look at what we need to do as far as higher education that will promote students not only going on to college but finishing," she said.

The percentage of Idaho students continuing their education after high school has dropped for the second year in a row. According to the state's high school feedback report, "the one-year," the rate dropped from 52 percent to 46 percent between 2014 and 2015. 

"Businesses are telling us over and over again that their number one issue is not enough people in the work force," she said. "Every dollar we invest in education is an investment in job creation in Idaho's economic future. We have 3,800 jobs this year that we could not fill because we did not have the educated work force to step into those jobs. Businesses had to recruit from out of state. I think it's important that we make sure those job opportunities are available to our children and grandchildren. If our students know those jobs are out there and we can mentor them into positions where they can step right into that job when they are out of college, I think it's a win-win for everybody."

By 2020, the state wants 60 percent of its young adults to hold a post-secondary degree or certificate.