One of the biggest challenges facing Central California is in the area of education. The San Joaquin Valley routinely ranks at or near the bottom of the state when it comes to education attainment. Only 16 percent of adults in the valley have a bachelors degree. Compare that with the statewide number of 30 percent, or that of the Bay Area, where 41 percent of residents have a degree and the numbers become even more clear.
A key to improving those numbers lies with institutions like UC Merced, Fresno State and CSU Bakersfield. At Fresno State around two-thirds of undergraduate students are the first in the family to attend college, and nearly 90 percent are from the San Joaquin Valley. In this interview Valley Edition Host Joe Moore speaks with Fresno State President Joseph Castro about his goals for boosting graduation rates, and more.