Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

CPE reviews various measures of Kentucky's progress toward increasing the education level of its citizens

Release Date: May 19, 2003
Contact: Sue Patrick
Phone: (502) 573-1555

(Frankfort, Ky) At its May 19 meeting, the Council on Postsecondary Education heard an update on various measures of Kentucky’s progress toward increasing the education levels of its citizens. The latest evidence that Kentucky postsecondary reform effort is working includes:

  • In 2002, the percentage of adults in Kentucky with at least a high school diploma or GED increased to 80.8%. In 2001, it was 79%.
  • In 2002, the percentage of adults in Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased to 21.6%. In 2001, it was 20.4%.
  • For public universities in Kentucky, the 2002 graduation rate was 43.5%. The graduation rate has increased significantly since 1998, when it was 36.7%.
  • While the official graduation rate for 2003 is not available yet, the public colleges and universities estimate that they awarded over 19,000 degrees and other credentials this spring. That represents an increase of over 3,400 from a year ago.
  • The number of research and development dollars coming to the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville annually from external sources increased by more than $11 million between 2000 and 2001, bringing the total to $185 million.

The Council also heard an update on the effort to increase the number of engineers in Kentucky. In 2000, the Council approved a statewide initiative on engineering education. Since that time, Murray State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University have developed joint engineering programs. These programs combine the resources already available in Lexington and Louisville with curricula tailored to meet the needs of college students and businesses in southern and western Kentucky. Hundreds of students are now enrolled in engineering programs at Murray State and WKU.

The presidents of the four participating universities emphasized increasing dramatically the number of engineers as critical to Kentucky’s ability to compete in the knowledge-based economy. Gary Ransdell, president of Western, said “We are excited about this example of Kentucky’s comprehensive universities fulfilling their mission: to identify and solve problems for employers in our region of the state.”


Last Updated 8/3/2005