Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

National literacy group cites work of Kentucky Adult Education and KCTCS as 'astounding success'

Release Date: June 9, 2004
Contact: Sue Patrick
Phone: (502) 573-1555

(Frankfort, Ky) A national case study spotlighting the progress of Kentucky in adult education and literacy was released last week by the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy. The report focuses on the "astounding success" of Kentucky Adult Education, Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

She singled out five examples of Kentucky's innovations. They include:

"As a national model, the Kentucky system is fascinating and instructive in numerous ways," noted Gail Spangenberg, president of CAAL, in the foreword of the report.

  • an explicit statewide policy that provides a seamless system of transitions from adult education to postsecondary;
  • a learner-centered and competency-based adult education program;
  • a large investment in workforce education;
    community college presidents who support adult education; and
  • an array of linkages between adult education and the community college systems.

The report, "Adult Education & Literacy and Community Colleges in Kentucky," is Working Paper 4 in a series being issued by CAAL to study the role and potential of community colleges in adult education and literacy.

Cheryl King, vice president for Kentucky Adult Education, Council on Postsecondary, explained, "This report is a testimony to the good work that is being done across the state by all adult educators. It is also a testimony to Kentucky's innovative approach that links adult education to outcomes that are important to adults-continued education that prepares people for employment in the knowledge-based economy."

Kentucky Adult Education has seen its enrollment double since 2000 to 109,880 Kentuckians. And more of these adult learners are going on to college than ever before--21.7 percent in 2003.

Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, said, "We are pleased that Kentucky is being recognized. This report validates Kentucky's adult education reform efforts."

The recommendations in the report will serve as a guide for continuous improvement, added King.

According to a CAAL news release, the case study is "a journey into the intricacies and history of how the Kentucky system came to be, what it is today, and what factors account for its astounding success. The paper describes and discusses Kentucky's adult education and community college systems in depth, as well as the linkages that have been developed between the two systems."

The paper is 89 pages in length and is available in PDF form at the CAAL Web site. At the home page, scroll down the left column to publication item (4). Readers may distribute at no cost and without prior CAAL permission as many copies of the PDF file as they need.


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.


Last Updated 8/3/2005