Kentucky’s colleges and universities are producing more degrees in science, technology, engineering, math and health care. The state has surpassed a milestone for bachelor’s degrees in the STEM disciplines, according to a progress report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
During the 2018-19 academic year, Kentucky’s public universities awarded 6,685 STEM plus health care degrees, up two percent from the previous year and 31 percent over the past five years.
Western Kentucky University produced 867 STEM degrees last school year, down slightly from the 880 degrees in 2017-18. The state's strategic plan, Stronger by Degrees, had a goal of 0producing 6,620 STEM degrees by the 2020-21 school year. However, campuses collectively met the goal two years early.
“These numbers are a prime example of why higher education matters,” CPE President Aaron Thompson said. “Every year, our campuses are arming thousands of students with the skills for high-wage industries. That strengthens our economy, grows our tax base and prepares the next generation for long, rewarding careers.”
The CPE says the gains will make Kentucky’s economy more resilient and diversified as the nation seeks to recover from the coronavirus.