Release Date: May 25, 2004
Contact: Sue Patrick
Phone: (502) 573-1555
(Frankfort, Ky) Graduation rates at all eight Kentucky public universities have increased since postsecondary education reform began in 1998. At its meeting Monday in Lexington, the Council on Postsecondary Education announced that the systemwide, six-year graduation rate climbed from 36.7 percent in 1998 to 45.3 percent in 2003, the most recent year data is available.
In addition, seven of the eight universities posted increases over their 2002 rates.
"Kentucky's investment in postsecondary education reform and its people is paying off," explained Tom Layzell, president of the Council. "However, we still have our work cut out for us to reach the national average."
While the 2003 national average of graduation rates will not be released until fall, the 2002 average of NCAA Division I public universities was 55 percent.
Kentucky has implemented numerous initiatives designed to increase graduation rates. One such initiative, the Faculty Development Conference, was held this weekend. The annual two-day conference focuses on student success and brings together faculty from both public and independent institutions from across the state.
Other initiatives include the Council's accountability system that tracks a variety of student outcomes as well as student retention programs on campuses.
Layzell said that it is imperative that Kentucky increase the number of her citizens with baccalaureate and other degrees in order to attract businesses that will bring good jobs to the state.
"This is what postsecondary education reform is about--creating a better economy for Kentucky and better lives for Kentuckians," he said.
Kentucky's Postsecondary Education System encompasses nine public institutions and numerous independent institutions and represents 229,061 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni, and 275,108 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and for their families.