The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents approved the 2016-22 strategic plan that builds on the mandates outlined in the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997 and aligns with the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) Strategic Agenda 2015-20. The planning process began in 2015 by collecting input from stakeholders throughout the state through a survey and listening sessions at all KCTCS colleges and the System Office. More than 4,000 community members, business leaders, students and employees participated in activities to envision the future of KCTCS.
Additionally, statewide Innovation Roundtables funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were conducted to further refine the strategic plan vision, values and goals. These roundtable sessions were held in each of Kentucky’s nine economic regions with key community and economic development stakeholders. The plan also was developed in collaboration with several state agencies and associations with a goal of creating a statewide plan for jobs and the economy.
The 2016-22 KCTCS Strategic Plan goals are:
• Raise the level of educational attainment in the Commonwealth by positioning KCTCS as the accessible, affordable and relevant postsecondary education choice for Kentuckians.
• Increase the access and success for all KCTCS students, particularly among traditionally underserved populations.
• Develop clear pathways through all levels of postsecondary education with an emphasis on experiential learning that lead to successful employment outcomes for KCTCS graduates.
• Improve student engagement, support, experiences, and success with best-in-class academic and student services.
• Align programs and curricula with needs of employers that enhance the employability, job placement and career development of KCTCS graduates.
KCTCS Using Market Data to Determine Best Programs for Each College and Community
An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the work KCTCS is doing with job market data to help determine what programs can best meet the needs of students and employers in various parts of the state. For example, Big Sandy Community and Technical College is offering a program in broadband technology, which helps displaced coal miners train for new jobs.
KCTCS has been using job market data for several years to determine new program development and also is working with the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to bring job data insight to employment offices around the state.
New Dual Credit Scholarships Available
This fall, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is offering a free dual credit class to Kentucky public high school juniors, allowing them to earn high school and college credit at the same time. The KCTCS program for juniors aligns with Gov. Matt Bevin’s new dual credit initiative primarily for high school seniors, which provides them the opportunity to take two college courses via the new Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship.
All KCTCS colleges will participate in the state’s scholarship program. There is no cost to students for either the KCTCS Junior Dual Credit Scholarship or the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship. If students choose to take more classes than are covered by the state scholarship, which is primarily for seniors, they would pay $52 per credit hour.
The governor’s goal is for graduates to leave high school with a minimum of nine postsecondary credit hours. By committing $600,000 to a scholarship program for juniors, KCTCS is helping students meet that goal.
“We believe it’s important for high school juniors to take the first step in transitioning to college work by taking a free class through one of our colleges,” KCTCS President Jay K. Box said. “As the dual credit leader in the Commonwealth, KCTCS is very appreciative of Gov. Bevin’s commitment to providing college-level coursework to high school students. We believe that by taking a class during their junior year, students will build confidence and feel comfortable attending a KCTCS college close to home after high school graduation.”
Providing dual credit opportunities to Kentucky high school students to reduce the cost and time required to get a college degree has long been a priority for KCTCS. Whether students want to quickly earn a credential and go to work or transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree, the nine free credit hours earned in high school will give students a head start.