Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Big Goal: 60x30

Higher education drives innovation, strengthens the economy, creates wealth, reduces inequality, breaks cycles of poverty and enhances well-being. That's why we've set an attainment goal of 60% of the population with degrees and credentials by 2030 -- and we're making progress! Learn more >>

Latest News

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CPE approves academic programs, sets tuition for new scholarship program

CPE approves academic programs, sets tuition for new scholarship program

September 20, 2022

CPE approved two new academic programs for Eastern Kentucky University and the Kentucky resident rate of tuition for Kentucky Innovative Scholarship recipients at its meeting.

New partnership supports colleges serving displaced students

New partnership supports colleges serving displaced students

September 16, 2022

State and national education organizations are coming together to launch a community of practice to support colleges serving students who have been displaced by crises in their home countries.

Aaron Thompson

President’s Message: Community conversations help connect higher education and industry

September 7, 2022

Learn what President Thompson has heard so far during his conversations with local leaders, educators and the business community about ensuring our college graduates are work ready in Louisville, Elizabethtown and Brandenburg.

Arthur Levine

A ‘Great Upheaval’ is coming to higher education

August 30, 2022

Arthur Levine, author, discusses the game-changing transformations coming to higher education and how colleges can successfully respond to them. Levine is the keynote speaker at this year's Postsecondary Education Trusteeship Conference.

Featured Events

Upcoming Meetings

View all meetings >>


Featured Podcasts

  • Higher Education Matters Podcast icon
  • Well Advised Podcast icon

Aaron Thompson

Community Conversations

with President Aaron Thompson

President Thompson's tour is focused on bringing together higher ed, community and workforce leaders to address the immediate workforce shortage and increasing work-ready college graduates in the future to support business and industry, communities and regional economies.

Learn when we'll be in your area >>

Kentucky By the Numbers

  • 8Public Universities
  • 58%Six-Year Graduation Rate
  • 28K+Degrees Awarded in AY21

  • 16Community and Technical Colleges
  • 40%Three-Year Graduation Rate
  • 39K+Credentials Awarded in AY21

Kentucky's Progress to the 60x30 Goal

Educational Attainment of Kentucky Adults (2019)

Graph of Kentucky's educational attainment, by level
Source: A Stronger Nation. Lumina Foundation.

Increases in the Number of Credential Holders

To reach Kentucky's goal of 60% with a credential by 2030, the number of Kentucky adults with a credential needs to increase 1.7% each year until 2030. Until the pandemic, the Commonwealth has surpassed this need since establishment of the goal in 2016.

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
4.7% 2.8% 3.5% 3.3% .5%

Our President

Aaron Thompson
Dr. Aaron Thompson
"I believe that higher education unlocks the human potential, that college gives us the time and opportunity to explore our interests, to train for a career that challenges and inspires us. And it gives us a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life."

As a first-generation college student from rural Clay County, Kentucky, President Aaron Thompson experienced first-hand the transformative power of a college credential. Learn more about President Thompson >>

Kentucky's Strategic Agenda for Postsecondary Education

The strategic agenda serves as a blueprint to meet Kentucky’s educational attainment goal—to raise the percentage of Kentuckians with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 60% by the year 2030. It identifies five strategic priorities with an additional one as a cross-cutting priority (equity) for higher education that will guide innovation and improvement through 2030. Learn more about the strategic agenda >>

  • Transitions
  • Affordability
  • Success
  • Talent
  • Equity
  • Value

Making Higher Education Matter to Kentucky

Higher Education Matters, a statewide public awareness campaign in collaboration with Kentucky’s colleges and universities, is about promoting college going and elevating the importance of higher education to Kentucky’s residents and economy. Check out the website at for student resources, links to campuses, and marketing resources for our ambassadors.

Why Higher Ed Matters

  • Hand with wallet Earnings: College graduates earn more and are less likely to be unemployed and rely on public assistance.
  • Woman with tying cross trainers Health: College graduates are more likely to have access to better healthcare, exercise and enjoy better health.
  • Person showing I voted button Civic Responsibility: College graduates are more likely to vote, donate to charity and be civically engaged.
  • Person reading to child Literacy: College graduates are more likely to read to their children and be more supportive of their education overall.
  • Female employee Employment: College graduates are more likely to find jobs and stay employed, even in a down economy.
  • Capitol dome Economy: The state gains more from college graduates through higher earnings and less dependence on public assistance.