Council on Post-Secondary Education recognizes academic programs’ preparation for early career success

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WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Council on Post-Secondary Education (CPE) has published its latest Analysis on Workforce Preparedness and Early Career Outcomes for Underrepresented Minority and Low-Income Status Students in Kentucky.

The research evaluated a wide range of public and private postsecondary institutions and a variety of academic disciplines. The findings were based on earnings data one year following graduation from more than 140,000 Kentucky graduates between 2008-2020.

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The following Bachelor’s-level programs were seen to have the most equitable early career outcomes for underrepresented minority graduates:

  • University of Kentucky – International Studies
  • Campbellsville University – Early Childhood Education
  • Western Kentucky University – Political Science
  • Asbury University – Elementary Education
  • Spalding University – Social Work

The study also identified the state’s top Bachelor’s-level programs with the most equitable early career outcomes for low-income graduates:

  • Murray State University – Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Northern Kentucky University – Economics
  • Northern Kentucky University – Entrepreneurship
  • Morehead State University – Middle Grades Education
  • University of Cumberlands – Elementary Education

“We are truly honored to be recognized by CPE for this accomplishment,” said Dr. Shannon Deaton, Dean of the Department of Education at Cumberlands. “Servant leadership is at the heart of our mission at University of the Cumberlands, and as such we strive to ensure all students have the best chance for success after graduation. I am tremendously proud of our graduates and the great things they have been able to do for themselves, their families, and their communities after graduation.”

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) coordinated the research project, which centered around qualitative research and analysis gathered from focus groups and interview conversations with alumni from specific institutions of higher learning. The best educational pathways – as revealed through the research – were then analyzed to determine best practices which can be scaled to Kentucky institutions.

A press release from CPE noted that programs named in the report are preparing students for “high-demand occupations with earnings that match or exceed their peers.”

The full report was conducted with funding from Lumina Foundation and in partnership with CAEL and Emsi. The full report can be found online at  https://cpe.ky.gov/data/reports/studentworkforceanalysis.pdf.