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 >>

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Bachelor’s degrees in Kentucky flat while graduate degrees are on the rise, new report shows

January 19, 2023

A new report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education shows that total degrees and credentials grew slightly in 2021-22, while bachelor’s degrees declined and graduate-level degrees made impressive gains.

Student

Kentucky action network forms to examine food and housing insecurity on college campuses

January 18, 2023

CPE's Kentucky Student Success Collaborative has formed an action network to examine the scope of the problem in the commonwealth and identify ways to increase support so students don’t opt out of college.

Aaron Thompson

President’s Message: In Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, there are lessons for educators

January 11, 2023

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did not believe that education’s role was merely vocational. He also thought of it as a way to create self-actualized individuals who participate in and contribute to the larger culture and government. That distinction...

Student with advisor

CPE gets national grant to improve student transfer process

December 14, 2022

CPE has been awarded a newly established Catalyst Fund in recognition of its best practices regarding student transfer policy and processes.

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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 KYHigherEDMatters.org 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.