Kentucky sees increase in number of degrees awarded

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A new report shows the number of university and college degree and credentials in Kentucky has increased.

According to the report by the Council on Postsecondary Education, public and independent colleges and universities awarded a record 72,936 degrees and credentials in the 2017-18 academic year.

That is an 11.4% increase over five years.

The report says big gains were made in closing achievement gaps for underrepresented minority students. Credentials for the group increased 7.2% over one year and 23% over five years. Over the five-year period, the greatest undergraduate gains for the group were in bachelor’s degrees at 23.9%, followed by associate degrees at 23.4%. At the graduate level, doctorates grew 42.5%, followed by master’s degrees at 22.3%.

The area of study with the largest growth in awards was STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with a one-year increase of 9.2% at the undergraduate level and 55.1% at the graduate level. Over five years, STEM awards grew 45.4% at the undergraduate level, while nearly doubling at the graduate level with an 85.3% increase.

Other key findings in the report:
– Kentucky is on track to meet the educational attainment goal of 60% of Kentuckians with college credentials by 2030. Total undergraduate credentials increased 2.8% in 2017-18, surpassing the 1.7% growth needed to achieve the educational attainment goal.
– Short-term certificates issued by all institutions grew 5.8% over one year and climbed 18.3% over five years.
– Low-income, underrepresented minority students experienced gains in every undergraduate credential category. Short-term certificates grew 10.4%, while associate degrees increased 20.8%. Bachelor’s degrees were up 18.3%.
– Associate degrees experienced a one-year decrease of 2% and a five-year decrease of 1.8%.
– At the baccalaureate level, education degrees did not grow over the one-year period and experienced the largest five-year decline at 13.2%.

The report is available at http://cpe.ky.gov/data/reports/2019degreesreport.pdf.

Categories: News, State News

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