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Kentucky college enrollment remains steady

Approximately 60 percent of high school grads enroll in postsecondary education, according to figures on the class of 2014. Gender disparity is big: females in postsecondary education at 68%, while males enrolled were at 52%. Disparities on ethnic basis also great, but narrower than for gender
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By Kim S. Brannock
News from Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

FRANKFORT, KY (7 Apr 2016) - Two reports released today from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) include feedback on recent graduates from Kentucky's public high schools and their transition to college and success in the first year.

"The 2016 Kentucky High School Feedback Reports show that college-going rates throughout Kentucky are holding steady with about 60 percent of the state's public high school Class of 2014 students enrolled in college, and that those students are better prepared for college-level classes and careers," said Kate Akers, Ph.D., executive director of KCEWS. "However, less than 20 percent of 2012-13 public high school graduates enrolled at public universities earned 30 or more college-level credit hours during their first year."

The reports from KCEWS include the Kentucky High School Feedback Report on College Going and the Kentucky High School Feedback Report on College Success. Both reports give comparable data for each of Kentucky's 227 public high schools and 168 school districts.

"Preparing public high school students for the transition to college or the workforce is of the utmost importance to the Commonwealth," said Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. "The High School Feedback Report provides the most accurate data on high school graduates so that parents, community members, educators, school board members and officials can evaluate their local schools and compare them to others across the state."

KCEWS is administratively located in the cabinet.

The Kentucky High School Feedback Reports were produced by KCEWS utilizing data from the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System, which includes data from the Kentucky Department of Education, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.

The first report on college enrollment revealed that of the 43,783 Kentucky public high school students who graduated in 2014, 60.4 percent--or 26,446--enrolled in some form of higher education compared to 60.3 percent of those who graduated in 2013. The report is based on 2013-2014 college enrollment data, not surveys of students. Reports are not provided for alternative programs, but students from those schools are included in the district-level figures.

The college going report also includes the proportion from each school that went to college and the types of schools they are attending, ACT scores and information by gender, race and family income.

The statewide college going data showed that in the Class of 2014, over 90 percent started out as full-time students, about 9 percent attended an out-of-state college or university, and more than 50 percent were pursuing a bachelor's degree--while nearly 36 percent were seeking an associate's degree.

Data also revealed that more than 52 percent of males compared to about 68 percent of females in the Class of 2014 attended college. In addition, nearly 61 percent of white students, about 58 percent of African-American students and 51 percent of Hispanic students attended college, along with more than 16 percent of students with access to special education.

Of the 227 public high schools in the college going report, duPont Manual High School in Jefferson County and Jackson City School in Breathitt County had college going rates at or above 90 percent for the Class of 2014. The highest in the state at 92 percent with 403 of 438 graduates attending college was duPont Manual High School.

The report illustrates the importance of improving college readiness rates for all high school graduates. The high school students who graduated in 2014 and were ready for college-level coursework or careers were more than twice as likely to attend college compared to those who were assessed as not college or career ready--75 percent compared to 35 percent.

"While Kentucky students' high school performance overall is improving, not enough of our young people are pursuing or completing post-secondary degrees and credentials. This is especially true for low-income and minority students. This feedback report is vital to our understanding of the challenges, and to directing resources to address them," said Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

"Kentucky has made great strides in increasing its public high school graduation and college and career readiness rates in recent years," said Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt. "The future of Kentucky's students - and the economic well-being of the Commonwealth - depends on their ability to acquire education and training after they graduate from high school. The feedback reports give educators, parents and community members valuable information they can use as they strive to increase student achievement and better prepare their students to succeed in college and the workforce."

To read the report in its entirety, please visit

KCEWS collects and provides information about education and workforce at all levels to better inform policymaking statewide. It maintains the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System which securely links information from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) to create a system that spans early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, financial aid, teacher licensure and preparation, workforce training programs and other areas to develop a broader understanding about the education and training process as a seamless system.

This story was posted on 2016-04-08 05:12:15
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