Council on Postsecondary Education
COLLEGE ENROLLMENT BREAKS RECORD FOR TENTH STRAIGHT YEAR
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kentucky’s public universities and community and technical colleges enrolled 212,994 students in fall 2007, a 3.2 percent increase over last fall, according to a report released today at a meeting of the Council on Postsecondary Education. This marks a 34.4 percent increase since postsecondary education reform began in fall 1998.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and Kentucky State University experienced the largest growth in undergraduate enrollment, up 7.3 percent and 7.2 percent over 2006, respectively.
"This rate of progress is not only encouraging, but essential if Kentucky is to reach its goal to double the number of college graduates by 2020,” said Brad Cowgill, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Undergraduate enrollment increased by 3.5 percent and first-professional enrollment rose 2.4 percent. Graduate enrollment remained relatively flat (+.6 percent), and public institutions saw a decrease in post-doctoral students with 11.7 percent fewer than last year.
Enrollment in distance learning also continues to increase at public universities, with an 8 percent increase over last year and a 64.3 percent increase since 2000. Participation of KCTCS students in distance learning has increased even more significantly ¬-- 18.7 percent over 2006 and 81.9 percent since 2000.
The Council also reported that the enrollment of African American and Hispanic students is increasing at a faster rate than that of Caucasian students, citing a 5.6 percent increase in enrollment of African Americans and a 9.1 percent increase in Hispanic enrollment over last fall.
In a separate business item, the Council reviewed the results of the Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities 2008 degree program eligibility report. This annual report card measures institutional success in enrolling, retaining and hiring African Americans and requires that each university maintain current performance or improve in order to be eligible to propose new degree programs. The report showed that all 8 public universities and fifteen community and technical colleges qualify to propose new degree programs, as compared to 7 universities and twelve community and technical colleges in 2007.
“This is the first time since 1993 that all 8 public universities and this many community and technical colleges have qualified at the highest level of performance, which is automatic eligibility,” said Sherron Jackson, associate vice president for equal education opportunities and finance at the Council. “We highly commend the institutions for their efforts and challenge them to continue to perform at this level.”
In other business, the Council staff briefed members on the details of the Governor’s recommended budget reductions and the impact of these cuts on campuses, adult education centers and Council operations. The recommended 12 percent cut is in addition to the 3 percent reduction in the current fiscal year.
The Council also:
- Heard an update on the status of the statewide diversity study being conducted to produce targeted research to inform diversity planning in Kentucky. Dr. Gary Orfield, principal investigator for the Harvard Civil Rights Project, is leading the study. The report is due June 30.
- Reviewed the results of the Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities 2008 degree program eligibility report. This annual report card measures institutional success in enrolling, retaining and hiring African Americans and requires that each university maintain or improve performance in order to be eligible to propose new degree programs. The report showed that all eight public universities and 15 community and technical colleges qualify to propose new degree programs, as compared to seven universities and 12 community and technical colleges just one year ago.
- Reviewed a draft of the Council’s 2006-07 Accountability Report, which outlines annual progress in postsecondary education reform. The report shows that the state has made progress in 17 of 26 statewide and institutional key indicators of progress. The final report will be issued later this month.
Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.