Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Rationale, Purpose, and Policy Areas


Kentucky has made dramatic gains during the past decade both in reducing the percentage of the adult age population with less than a high school credential and in increasing the percentage of recent high school graduates going directly to college (either in Kentucky or another state). Yet it remains next to last among the 50 states in the percentage of its adult population with at least a bachelor's degree. This is in part because we have had to come a long way, and in part because we still lose too many students at key points in the education pipeline. For example, for every 100 ninth graders in Kentucky, 66 students graduate from high school, 36 enter college, 24 are still enrolled in their sophomore year, and only 12 students graduate within three years from a two-year program or within six years from a four-year program. We need to create an integrated, "seamless" system of education - elementary and secondary, adult, and postsecondary - that meets the needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth in the 21st century.


Kentucky must greatly increase the number of traditional high school graduates and adult students earning college degrees. We also must create an appetite for learning where Kentuckians continue to access the postsecondary system to upgrade their skills and acquire the knowledge needed to be successful workers and engaged citizens. We want all students - high school and GED graduates - to be prepared for college and the skilled workplace without needing remediation. This policy group will work with our postsecondary institutions and partner agencies to develop policies and programs that produce good P-12 teachers, ensure adequate preparation for high school graduates and GED earners, and provide opportunities for life-long learning.

Policy Areas
  1. P-12 to postsecondary transition including aligning high school graduation requirements and curriculum with college and workplace expectations, increasing postsecondary enrollment rates of high school graduates, reducing their need for postsecondary remediation, and offering more dual credit opportunities for high school students.
  2. Adult education to postsecondary transition including aligning adult education curriculum with college and workplace expectations, increasing postsecondary enrollment rates of GED earners, and reducing their need for postsecondary remediation.
  3. Transferability of credits between postsecondary institutions.
  4. Retention and degree production.
  5. Low income and minority access students' and success.
  6. The role of distance learning in improving student access and success.
  7. Data needs.


Last Updated 6/16/2005