Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council on Postsecondary Education

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 26, 2007  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick
Phone: 502-573-1555 ext. 308
Cell: 502-330-6596

     The Council on Postsecondary Education will receive $500,000 from Lumina Foundation for Education for a statewide effort to increase the number of working-age adults with college degrees. The Kentucky Adult Learner Initiative will include a statewide review of policies that affect adult students and will grant each public four-year institution $50,000 for plans to create or enhance adult-friendly policies and services. 

     As outlined in the Council’s recently released Double the Numbers Plan, the percentage of adults completing college needs to increase from 3.6 percent to 4.5 percent for Kentucky to meet its goal to double the number of college graduates in the state by 2020.

     “To meet our 2020 goals, we must meet the unique needs of nontraditional students who are trying to achieve their educational goals while balancing work and family responsibilities,” said Brad Cowgill, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

     The multi-year effort will kickoff at a statewide summit Feb. 4-5, 2008, at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington and will examine national best practices in adult learning. After the summit, a workgroup consisting of representatives from the Council, the General Assembly, postsecondary institutions, state government agencies, and the business community will begin to construct policy recommendations to make postsecondary education in the state more adult-friendly.

     The workgroup will explore state and institutional level policies such as financial aid for nontraditional students, data systems to track adult learners, student support systems for adult learners, professional development for faculty who teach adult learners and issues related to transfer. Based on the group’s recommendations, the Council will work with postsecondary institutions to help implement institutional best practices. The Council will also present state-level policy recommendations to the 2010 General Assembly.

     An advisory board with representation from public and private sectors will guide the Kentucky Adult Learners Initiative. The group held its first meeting in Frankfort today. Members include: 

  • Dave Adkisson, President and CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Deborah Clayton, Commissioner, Department of Commercialization and Innovation, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
  • Steve Coppock, Chair, Kentucky Board for Proprietary Education
  • Gary Cox, President, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities
  • Ed Cunningham, Executive Director, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Jon Draud, Representative, Kentucky General Assembly; Kentucky Commissioner of Education
  • Sarah Hawker, Vice President, Kentucky Adult Education
  • Jim LeMaster, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Kentucky
  • Frank Rasche, Representative, Chair of House Education Committee, Kentucky General Assembly
  • Tim Shaughnessy, Senator, Kentucky General Assembly
  • Beth Smith, Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment, Kentucky Education Cabinet
  • David Thompson, Executive Director, Kentucky Press Association
  • Gary White, President, Kentucky Broadcasters Association
  • Ken Winters, Senator, Chair of Senate Education Committee, Kentucky General Assembly


      Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.



Last Updated 11/26/2007