Council on Postsecondary Education
COLLEGE ENROLLMENT CLIMBS 5% THIS FALL; NEW RECORD SET
Total enrollment in Kentucky’s public and independent postsecondary education institutions reached a record high of 254,560 students this fall, based on a preliminary enrollment report released by the Council on Postsecondary Education. The estimated headcount is an increase of 12,970 students, more than a 5 percent increase over last year and a 40 percent increase over 10 years.
“This growth in enrollment is a very welcome development,” stated Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “It is now our challenge to support these new students with adequate faculty, career advisors, and available courses so they can earn the degrees they seek. All of this bodes well for enhancing the Commonwealth's economic recovery, creating the best educated and best trained workforce, exactly what 21st century employers are looking for."
According to the report, undergraduate enrollment increased nearly 6 percent over last year, while graduate enrollment posted more than a 3 percent gain. The official enrollment report will be available in January 2010.
The largest enrollment growth was seen at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which estimates that enrollment hit 100,000 for the first time. Community and technical college enrollments often spike during recessions as workers invest in new job skills. Other highlights of the report include:
- Public universities saw modest growth of 2 percent over last year overall.
- Notable overall growth was seen at Kentucky State University and Western Kentucky University (7 percent and 5 percent, respectively), with significant growth at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Graduate enrollments were flat at the research universities, but have grown at those comprehensive universities that have added new graduate programs in education.
- Member institutions of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities saw modest growth at the undergraduate level, but several institutions’ expansion of graduate programs produced an 11 percent increase in graduate enrollments in this sector.