FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 17, 2012) —Kentucky’s public and independent colleges and universities conferred a record 63,000 degrees and credentials during the 2011-12 academic year, representing an overall increase of 4 percent over last year.
Based on the preliminary 2011-12 Degrees Report issued today by the Council on Postsecondary Education, gains were made at all levels, especially among workforce-oriented associate, master’s and doctoral-degree levels. The final report will be available this fall.
“This historic high shows our colleges and universities are making significant progress in meeting the state’s educational attainment goals, which are vitally important to strengthening the quality of Kentucky’s workforce and improving the economy,” said Council President Bob King.
King anticipates gains to continue in the future with targeted initiatives focused on improving college readiness and student success as outlined in the state’s strategic agenda, Stronger by Degrees.
The report shows the largest one-year increase was at the associate level with substantial increases in all sectors. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System led with an estimated 9,503 associate degrees, an increase of 20 percent or 1,600 degree earners from just one year ago.
Other one-year highlights include:
• Graduate education at the master’s and research-doctoral levels also led this year’s increases. Master’s/specialists degrees were up nearly 12 percent for a total of 8,863 degrees. Doctoral-research degrees climbed more than 7 percent with 513 degrees conferred.
• Bachelor’s degrees remain the type of degree earned by the largest number of students. These degrees increased 4 percent over last year with 21,558 bachelor’s degrees conferred.
Looking back over the past 10 years, the number of degrees conferred statewide has grown substantially at all levels.
Ten-year highlights include:
• The largest growth was at the associate degree level, which more than doubled in the past 10 years, due primarily to the expansion of applied associate programs at KCTCS. Twenty-four percent of young adults in Kentucky, ages 25-44, have an associate or higher degree.
• The next largest 10-year growth at the state level was among master’s degrees and professional-practice doctorates, reflecting the expansion of Kentucky’s highly educated, professional workforce. Eight percent of young adults in Kentucky, ages 25-44, have some form of graduate education.
The full report is available at http://cpe.ky.gov/prelimdegrees.htm.