Kentucky colleges and universities continued to make substantial progress toward the state’s academic attainment goals in 2019-20, exceeding targets for each STEM+H levels and levels amongst underrepresented minority college students.

According to the most recent figures from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, manufacturing of undergraduate credentials rose 3.3 p.c in comparison with the prior yr. That’s practically twice the speed wanted to fulfill CPE’s 60×30 objective, an formidable effort to boost the proportion of working-age Kentuckians with a high-quality postsecondary diploma or certificates to 60 p.c by the yr 2030.

More than 49 p.c of Kentucky adults now have a postsecondary credential, up from 42.5 p.c in 2014.

Aaron Thompson

“Even with the challenges of 2020, campuses have moved the agenda forward,” stated CPE President Aaron Thompson. “We’ve doubled down on strategies to identify and address Kentucky’s workforce needs, and most importantly, we’ve undertaken tremendous efforts to avoid leaving anyone behind.”

Statewide, Kentucky campuses awarded 23,865 bachelor’s levels, 10,005 affiliate levels and 14,217 certificates or diplomas throughout the yr. Much of the progress toward attainment goals was because of a pointy rise in certificates and diplomas, which rose 10 p.c over the earlier yr and have soared by practically 53 p.c since 2014-15.

Campuses have already bested the goal in Kentucky’s five-year strategic agenda for bachelor’s levels amongst underrepresented minority (URM) college students. A complete of three,340 URM college students earned a baccalaureate diploma throughout the yr, effectively above the annual objective of two,938. That builds on vital progress over the previous 5 years, throughout which the annual variety of URM levels and credentials has grown greater than 20 p.c. For Kentucky’s public universities, URM bachelor levels have grown greater than 30 p.c since 2013-14.

Bachelor’s levels in STEM+H (science, expertise, engineering, math and well being care) additionally surpassed targets, totaling 7,944 for the yr. Kentucky’s strategic agenda known as for Kentucky to supply 7,694 STEM+H levels yearly by 2021.

Meanwhile, graduate and skilled levels additionally stay on the rise, totaling 15,807 in 2019-20 – up greater than 18 p.c from 2018-19.

David Mahan, affiliate vp for information, analysis and superior analytics at CPE, stated many elements have helped facilitate Kentucky’s progress toward the 60×30 goals. He cited higher alignment between education and workforce wants, extra scholar success initiatives and better emphasis on campus variety plans.

“While the overall volume of degrees is important, we are especially focused on building the skills and knowledge base for a strong economy,” Mahan stated. “We know the jobs of the future will require additional skills and training, and Kentucky must stay nimble in our efforts to fill these gaps and provide the greatest opportunities for our residents.”

In addition to the progress, CPE’s evaluation signaled some challenges forward. Those embrace persistent racial gaps in attainment, broad variances in academic attainment between city and rural areas, and struggling enrollment numbers, significantly amongst grownup learners, URM college students and low-income college students.

“We are strategically targeting all these areas, and today’s data provides a valuable baseline for continuous improvement,” Thompson stated.

The full Council acquired the progress replace on Friday at its common enterprise assembly. In different motion, the Council:

• Approved an $18.7 million renovation on the University of Louisville’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering Building.

• Approved an $8 million renovation on the University of Louisville’s Medical Tower. UofL is funding the venture via a federal grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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• Delegated authority to CPE’s Finance Committee to evaluation and approve a $2 million improve and restore of the Lovett Auditorium HVAC System at Murray State University.

• Held swearing in proceedings for brand spanking new Council member Muhammad Babar.

• Approved a joint decision with the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Education to determine the Commonwealth Continuum. The transfer will present a discussion board for better collaboration between Kentucky’s P-12 and postsecondary techniques.

• Adopted a decision honoring Ling-Yug “Miko” Pattie, who has served as a member of the Committee on Equal Opportunities since 2017. The Council acknowledged her service and efforts to advance variety, fairness and inclusion initiatives in postsecondary establishments.

• Appointed Eric Farris to the Finance Committee, Muhammad Babar and Kevin Weaver to the Academic and Strategic Initiatives Committee, and Richard Nelson to the Nominating Committee.

• Received an replace on the Work Ready Scholarship marketing campaign, an effort introduced final week to spice up education and employability amongst adults. The scholarship helps cowl tuition and charges for Kentuckians who haven’t but earned an affiliate diploma.

• Received experiences from CPE’s Finance Committee, Academic and Strategic Initiatives Committee, Executive Committee and Committee on Equal Opportunities together with “good news” experiences from all of Kentucky’s public universities.

• Heard feedback from CPE President Aaron Thompson and a report from Jason Glass, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education.

Council on Postsecondary Education