May 11, 2020
In a testament to Kentucky's statewide diversity plan for higher education, colleges
and universities across the commonwealth made important strides in 2018-19 in closing
the achievement gap for underrepresented minority students.
According to the latest progress report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary
Education (CPE), bachelor's degrees conferred to minority students at public and private
institutions increased 5.3% over the previous year. In addition, credentials awarded
to minority students at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS)
The report also shows that graduation and retention rates for minority students increased,
with some institutions already hitting key performance goals for 2021.
"These gains are essential to creating new opportunities in Kentucky," said CPE President
Aaron Thompson. "Companies are clamoring for a more diverse workforce, and our students
are eager to demonstrate their talents in the evolving marketplace. I'm encouraged
that our forward-looking strategies on equity and inclusion are yielding such positive
CPE developed the Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Policy for Diversity, Equity
and Inclusion in 2016. It calls on state universities and KCTCS to improve outcomes
in three key areas: recruitment and enrollment of diverse students, student progression
and success, and campus climate, inclusiveness and cultural competency.
CPE requires a campus to demonstrate progress in those areas before granting approval
for new academic programs. In addition, the state's performance-based funding model
incentivizes colleges and universities to focus on closing the achievement gap.
Kentucky campuses are also working to raise overall attainment rates to meet the state's
60x30 goal – an effort to have 60% of working-age adults in Kentucky earn a postsecondary
degree or credential by 2030.
Below is a breakdown of some of the biggest gains in attainment, graduation rates
and retention for underrepresented minority (URM) students at public institutions
in 2018-19, compared to the previous year.
This metric shows the total number of bachelor's degrees, certificates and associate
degrees awarded to URM students.
Associate degrees or less
This metric shows the percentage of first-time, full-time URM students entering in
the fall semester who graduate with an associate degree or credential within three
years at KCTCS or with a bachelor's degree within six years at a public university.
This metric shows the percentage of first-time, degree- or credential-seeking URM
students enrolled in the previous summer or fall who are still enrolled the following
fall or, in the case of KCTCS students, have successfully completed a credential.
Last Updated: 7/23/2021