Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

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. 


WKU

College graduation rates are rising in Kentucky despite declining enrollment at institutions of higher education. That means more students who start college in Kentucky are making it to graduation day with a bachelor’s degree within six years.

Colleges across Kentucky awarded more than 23,000 bachelor’s degrees last school year.  New data released by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education show the 6-year graduation rate for bachelor’s degrees in Kentucky has risen by about 4 percentage points over the past three years.

 


Lisa Autry

A report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education shows the state is on pace to meet a 2030 goal of having 60% of the adult population with a college degree.   The student pipeline, however, will need some retro-fitting in the future.

In order to meet the 60x30 goal, colleges and universities as a whole, must have degree growth of 1.7% every year. 

A report released this week from the CPE shows during the past two academic years, the state saw increases of four and nearly three percent, respectively, but that progress can’t be sustained if dependent on high school graduates alone. 


Lisa Autry

The new head of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education says he expects colleges and universities to re-evaluate their course offerings just as Western Kentucky University has recently done. 

WKU is preparing to eliminate 101 academic programs while transforming and expanding others. 

In an interview on Thursday with WKU Public Radio, CPE President Aaron Thompson said schools are eliminating both people and programs to contend with a decrease in state funding, declining enrollment, and increasing pension obligations.

WKU Public Affairs

The group that oversees higher education in Kentucky has announced three finalists to become its next president. 

The Council on Postsecondary Education is looking for a successor to Dr. Bob King who retired.  King has been tapped by President Donald Trump to join the U.S. Department of Education as the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.  King must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate and his nomination is still pending, according to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office.

WKU

Employees of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities will continue to receive tuition assistance in the upcoming fall semester, despite the end of a program that allowed them take some classes for free at other schools. 

The General Assembly this year eliminated a statewide mandatory tuition waiver requirement that allowed full-time employees of post-secondary institutions to take up to six credit hours per semester at no cost.  House Bill 592 retained those benefits only for employees of state and locally operated secondary area technology centers.

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Kentucky’s college freshmen this fall are being urged to take 15 credit hours to become nearly twice as likely to graduate on time. 

A new policy brief by the Council on Postsecondary Education finds that the likelihood of students graduating on time greatly improves for students taking 30 credit hours their first year. 

Chief Academic Officer Aaron Thompson says taking 15 hours a semester can help close the achievement gap among under-represented minority and low-income students.

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The board that governs higher education in Kentucky is considering a proposal to change the minimum guidelines for admission to public colleges and universities. 

For students wanting to enter a state-supported, four-year institution, they would need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, although schools would be allowed to set higher admission standards. 

CPE President Bob King says students with a lower GPA could be still be accepted, but they would have to enter into a learning contract with the college that would include a number of support services such as remedial classes and mentoring.