FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 10, 2012) — Kentucky had substantial gains in degrees and credentials conferred — especially at the undergraduate level — in 2010-11, according to The Council on Postsecondary Education’s recently released state-level accountability report.
GEDs, associate and graduate-level degrees are on track to meet state targets by 2014, and bachelor degrees are making progress, the CPE said in a press release.
The accountability report measures progress toward meeting House Bill 1 (1997) goals and the state’s strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education. The report measures 31 performance targets in the following four priority areas: college readiness; student success; research, economic and community development; and efficiency and innovation.
The extensive report provides transparency and accountability to guide progress moving forward.
“This report provides to citizens, policy makers and our campuses clear, concise information describing specific goals and whether progress is being made toward their achievement,” said Council President Bob King.
“Whether for the state as a whole, or for each individual campus, the report defines how we are performing and whether we are on track to meet our 2020 targets,” he said.
The state targets reflect the level of progress needed to meet HB 1 goals, especially parity with the nation in educational attainment and quality of life. Benchmarking against other states helped guide the target-setting process, as well as a report issued last September by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).
• Some progress was made in the college readiness focus area, although less than would be needed to meet the aggressive 2015 goals established in Senate Bill 1 (2009). Of particular concern is the need to improve new teacher excellence, given the key role higher education plays in training P-12 educators. Adult education saw a strong increase in the number of GED graduates and is well on its way to reaching its 2015 target.
• Graduation rates ticked upward, but some achievement gaps widened. The financial support necessary for student success eroded at the state level, with declines in state appropriations and in the availability of need-based ﬁnancial aid. Fortunately, federal investment in the Pell grant program provided stability in the net direct cost of education for low-income students.
• Key measures of higher education’s impact on economic and community development — the educational attainment of young adults and completions in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health — both improved. However, research and development were ﬂat, largely in response to decreases in federal research expenditures.
• Instruction at Kentucky’s institutions of higher learning continues to innovate, as seen in the strong growth of online learning. Officials are committed to improving how efficiency, an important dimension in postsecondary education, is measured and reported.
The report also includes descriptions of Council and campus efforts to reach performance targets.
The report is available on the CPE website at http://www.cpe.ky.gov/planning/.