Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council on Postsecondary Education

Press Release Date:  Sunday, September 16, 2007  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick
Cell: 502-330-6596

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - The 2006–07 graduating class was the largest in the history of Kentucky postsecondary education, with 43,902 degrees and credentials conferred at Kentucky public postsecondary institutions. This represents a 3.3 percent increase over the number awarded in 2005-06 and a 70.8 percent increase since 2000-01.

Overall, bachelor’s degrees increased more than 2 percent over the previous year with a total of 14,742 bachelor’s degrees awarded at public institutions. This is a 23.5 percent increase since 2000-01.

“We must continue to see significant increases in degree production if Kentucky is to reach our goal to double the number of bachelor’s degree holders by 2020,” said Brad Cowgill, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “Across the board, states with the highest proportion of bachelor’s degrees have the highest per capita incomes and the strongest, most robust economies. Meeting our goal to double the numbers, though challenging, offers the quickest, most direct route to a better quality of life in Kentucky.” 

KCTCS awarded 20,970 credentials in 2006-07, a record class for the system and an overall increase of 5.9 percent over the previous year. Associate degrees increased 7.5 percent, diplomas increased 8 percent in diplomas and certificates increased 4.6 percent.

The University of Kentucky conferred 3,613 bachelor’s degrees in 2006-07, the largest number awarded in a single year by any institution in the state’s history. The University of Louisville saw the highest growth in bachelor’s degrees among public institutions. Western Kentucky University and Kentucky State University virtually tied for the greatest increase in credentials awarded, with an increase of 3.5 percent overall compared to 2005-06.

Data on degrees awarded from Kentucky’s independent institutions will be available at a future Council meeting.

In other business at today’s Council meeting:

  • Kentucky Adult Education unveiled a new policy framework which includes a strong emphasis on quality student outcomes and more flexibility in providing adult education services. The framework decreases the focus on enrollment goals and increases the emphasis on student learning. The new framework also introduces a revised funding formula with new opportunities for local programs to earn performance funding.
  • The Council approved a $300,000 award to Northern Kentucky University through the Council’s Regional Stewardship program. The funds will support efforts to build capacity in priority areas of early childhood development and literacy, mathematics education, mental health and technology assistance.


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.


Last Updated 9/19/2007