Council on Postsecondary Education
KENTUCKY RECEIVES $500,000 TO LAUNCH STATEWIDE COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – A statewide network to promote college-going throughout Kentucky will be developed under a $500,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
The Kentucky College Access Network (KentuckyCAN), whose members include local business, civic and faith-based organizations and leaders, held its inaugural meeting today in Frankfort. Network members pledged to work together to encourage more people in their communities to enroll in college.
The Lumina Foundation’s support will allow KentuckyCAN to expand its membership, develop a strategic plan and identify additional resources to finance its work. A primary goal is to build local support for the Council’s College Outreach Initiative that will provide information about going to college to Kentuckians of all ages and to traditionally underrepresented groups. The Council’s outreach efforts will begin to roll out later this fall.
“We’re delighted to work with the Prichard Committee,” said Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “Our partnership is a great opportunity to engage business and industry, civic and youth groups, educators, policy makers and citizens in creating a college-going culture in local communities throughout Kentucky,” he added.
Layzell said the partnership is important to Kentucky’s quest to “Double the Numbers” of citizens with a bachelor’s degree by the year 2020.
In addition to supporting the College Outreach Initiative, KentuckyCAN will help coordinate and network existing college access programs and will support new programs to serve communities and target low-income, under-represented, and first-generation college students.
“While our current development and outreach efforts provide a solid foundation, KentuckyCAN will allow us to create a coordinated grassroots network to ensure we are serving these students in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” said Robert F. Sexton, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “It is imperative that local communities get involved and help send the message to all citizens that postsecondary education is essential for reaching your potential in life.”
Joe McCormick, former executive director of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, will coordinate the effort from the Prichard Committee offices in Lexington.
Kentucky’s postsecondary and adult education system is improving the economic vitality of the Commonwealth and the lives of Kentuckians. By raising educational attainment to the national average by 2020, Kentucky will attract higher wage and knowledge-based business and industry and the overall quality of life for Kentuckians will improve with higher incomes and levels of employment, better health, less obesity, more volunteerism, and lower crime and public assistance rates.