Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

College Readiness

Kentucky will be stronger by ensuring more high school graduates, GED® graduates, and working-age adults enter college prepared for credit-bearing work.


With the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2009, college readiness has been at the forefront of the postsecondary system’s policy agenda. Collaboration between secondary and postsecondary educators has never been greater. These partnerships have contributed to significant improvements in college access and readiness.


While progress has been significant, many Kentucky students who transition to college are not fully prepared for the rigors of postsecondary education. In 2010, 63 percent of recent high school graduates entering community and technical colleges and 27 percent entering public universities needed remediation in one or more subjects. Additionally, 90 percent of GED graduates were not ready for placement in credit-bearing courses.

Students who are not academically or financially prepared for college face greater obstacles to degree completion. Developmental education lengthens a student’s time-to-degree, increases costs, and consumes institutional resources. Students need stronger academic and social supports and clear pathways to success.

The Department of Education, the Education Professional Standards Board, and Kentucky’s K-12 educators are committed to creating “Next Generation” professionals and support systems to make “every child proficient and prepared for success.” It is now clear that “prepared for success” means college- or career-ready.

Kentucky’s postsecondary system will work hand-in-hand with K-12 and adult education providers to ensure students understand what they need to know and be able to do to succeed at the next level. Postsecondary institutions most directly affect K-12 student performance through the quality and effectiveness of the teachers they produce. Therefore, the system will focus on improving the quality of educator preparation programs and providing continuous growth and professional development opportunities for teachers and school leaders.

Policy Objectives

Policy Objective 1:
Increase the number of college-ready Kentuckians entering postsecondary education.


  • 1.1. Align K-12, adult education, and postsecondary education standards, curriculum, and assessment processes as directed by Senate Bill 1 (2009).
  • 1.2. Support effective intervention strategies for underprepared students prior to postsecondary admission.
  • 1.3. Strengthen the college-going and completion culture in Kentucky.


Policy Objective 2:
Increase the number of college-ready GED graduates.


  • 2.1. Increase enrollment and retention in Kentucky Adult Education programs and services.
  • 2.2. Implement initiatives to increase the number of Kentucky Adult Education students transitioning to postsecondary education.
  • 2.3. Attract, retain, and prepare highly effective adult educators.


Policy Objective 3:
Increase the effectiveness of Kentucky’s K-12 teachers and school leaders.


  • 3.1. Ensure K-12 educator preparation programs attract, retain, and prepare highly effective teachers and school leaders.
  • 3.2. Expand the role of higher education institutions in the delivery of professional development programs for teachers, school leaders, guidance counselors, adult education instructors, and faculty members.


College Readiness Performance Metrics
  • Readiness of Kentucky high school graduates who enter college
  • Number of GED® graduates
  • New teacher excellence

(Performance Metrics Chart)

College Readiness Policy Objective Updates
  1. Increase the number of college-ready Kentuckians entering postsecondary education
  2. Increase the number of college-ready GED graduates
  3. Ensure K-12 educator preparation programs attract, retain, and prepare highly effective teachers and school leaders
Legislative Mandates
  • HB 1 (1997)
    states that "contributions to the quality of elementary and secondary education shall be a central responsibility of Kentucky's postsecondary institutions."  Goal 1 envisions a "seamless, integrated" educational system.
  • SB 1 (2009)
    directs the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary systems to align revised K-12 academic standards with college readiness requirements and expectations.  SB 1 declares that "schools shall expect a high level of achievement of all students."
  • The Adult Education Act (2000) calls on the postsecondary and adult education system to "significantly elevate the level of education of the adults of the Commonwealth."

Last Updated 5/11/2011