2011-15 STRATEGIC AGENDA FOCUS ON STUDENT SUCCESS: UPDATE ON POLICY OBJECTIVE 4
Goal: Kentucky will be stronger by ensuring more of its people complete college with the skills and abilities to be productive and engaged citizens.
Policy Objective #4: Increase high-quality degree production and completion rates at all levels and close achievement gaps, particularly for lower-income, underprepared, and underrepresented minority students.
Strategy 4.1: Maximize KCTCS’s role as a high quality, low-cost provider of postsecondary education and transfer opportunities encouraging college access and success.
- Implementation of the Kentucky Transfer Action Plan includes the development of uniform data collection and reporting methods, a KCTCS common course numbering system, a statewide transfer technology system, and alignment of general education student learning outcomes for transfer purposes.
- All KCTCS colleges and the public universities have implemented a web-based system for faculty to determine course equivalencies for transfer. Development of “KnowHow2Transfer,” a student-centered web site, also is underway. This e-portal will provide students with a unified source for information about general education and transfer equivalencies for courses at Kentucky public institutions.
- Statewide general education student learning outcomes in the broad areas of communication, social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities, quantitative reasoning, and natural science have been agreed upon by faculty across the state and have been incorporated into Kentucky’s General Education Transfer Policy.
- Student learning outcomes are currently being aligned in five high-need transfer majors (biology, business, elementary education, nursing, and social work) to ensure student mobility and success.
- Kentucky has been awarded a grant from the Lumina Foundation to participate in Tuning USA, a faculty-led pilot project to define what students must know and be able to demonstrate after completing each level of degree attainment in a specific field. In addition to aligning the student learning outcomes in five high-need transfer majors, the project will define the knowledge and competencies students should master at each level of degree attainment in these specific majors.
Strategy 4.2: Provide institution and student incentives to increase high-quality degree production and completion rates.
- Discussions are underway regarding the development of a performance funding program to encourage high-quality degree production and increased college completion.
Strategy 4.3: Increase the use of data, information, research, and technology to improve student learning and outcomes.
- The Council is partnering with the Educational Delivery Institute (EDI), a national non-profit organization that focuses on implementing large-scale system change in education. EDI promotes an analytics-driven approach to help state leaders maintain the necessary focus to plan and implement ambitious strategic agendas.
- The Council is developing a comprehensive performance monitoring system and web-based dashboard as part of the accountability structure of the new Strategic Agenda. The dashboard will be available to the public September 2011.
- Council staff has developed a resource catalog of state and national best practices and research to increase student success, academic productivity, and efficiency that will be available on the Council’s web site.
Strategy 4.4: Support new pathways for adult learners to enroll and complete postsecondary degrees and credentials.
- The Council provided funds for all four-year and several KCTCS institutions to administer the Adult Learning Focused Institution (ALFI) Toolkit. The ALFI assesses institutional policies and practices in terms of the needs of adult learners (students over the age of 25). Policy groups were formed to address the issues identified as most important to adult learners – credit for prior learning, flexible academic programming, and financial aid. Institutions then developed plans to address policies, practices, and program issues in each of these areas.
- Consultants from The Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) worked with several institutions to maximize their credit for prior learning policies and address the issue of transferability of credit for prior learning. In addition, CAEL conducted workshops on each four-year campus and at three KCTCS campuses on credit for prior learning policies and transferability of credit for prior learning.
- The Council hosted a workshop with presentations by the College Board and the American Council on Education focused on the evaluation of military and corporate credit, as well as the development of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams.
- The Council is using consultants from several nationally recognized organizations to help assess ongoing adult learner initiatives and find strategies for their improvement and replication.
- Adults interested in returning to college to complete a bachelor’s degree are getting an extra boost through Project Graduate, a statewide, campus-based program designed to recruit and graduate former students with 90 or more credit hours. Through fall 2010, a total of 447 former students had completed a degree with the help of high-touch services and incentives offered through the program.
- Through its leadership in the development and implementation of Kentucky’s P-20 Data Collaborative, the Council has assisted in the creation of a multi-agency data repository that will allow policy-makers to track students from K-12 into postsecondary and the workforce. A primary focus of the collaborative will be outcomes research to provide meaningful feedback back down the educational pipeline at all stages. Council staff will be able to access data in the repository starting in July 2011.
Strategy 4.5: Secure adequate institutional funding to support high-quality faculty and staff, effective student and academic support services, technology enhancements, and other resources to enhance student success.
- The Council has reallocated and targeted funding for faculty and staff professional development to support course redesign and other program innovations of the National Center for Academic Transformation.
- The Council’s state-level capital request includes funding to revitalize and enhance the state’s virtual library, which serves all public and private colleges and universities in the Commonwealth and many school districts and public libraries. The KYVL saves millions of dollars each year by leveraging the purchasing power of multiple providers. Additional funds are being requested to upgrade and expand the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Network (KPEN).
- The Council, in partnership with KCTCS and supported by other educational organizations, has submitted a $1 million funding proposal as part of Complete College America’s Innovation Challenge. Funds would be used to support virtual advising services for students enrolled in KCTCS’s Online Learn on Demand programs.
Strategy 4.6: Promote student engagement, undergraduate research, internships, and other educational opportunities that improve the quality of the student experience, develop leaders, and lead to success after graduation.
- As part of the Council’s assessment and accountability efforts, all public institutions participate in the statewide consortium for the National and Community College Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE & CCSSE). Statewide and institutional results are analyzed to identify high-impact opportunities for change that will improve the quality of the student experience.
Strategy 4.7: Implement a statewide diversity policy that recognizes diversity as a vital component of the state’s educational and economic development.
- The Council’s Committee on Equal Opportunities (CEO) has received and reviewed institutional diversity plans being mindful of the need to address achievement gaps for underrepresented populations. The CEO review will ensure diversity plans align with the objectives of the 2011-15 Strategic Agenda. These institutional plans will be implemented in fall 2011.
- The Committee on Equal Opportunities will review its mission and role and revise as needed.
- The CEO will audit the institutional self-reviews of diversity plans and evaluate the Council’s assessment of the institutional evaluations.
Date: June 9, 2011