Education

Kentucky colleges, universities hand out record number of degrees

The University of Kentucky and other public and private colleges and universities helped set a record for Kentucky college degrees earned in 2015-2016, up to 65,829.
The University of Kentucky and other public and private colleges and universities helped set a record for Kentucky college degrees earned in 2015-2016, up to 65,829.

Kentucky’s public and private colleges and universities handed out a record 65,829 degrees and credentials during the 2015-16 year, the Council on Postsecondary Education reported. That represents a 2.7 percent increase from the year before and a 32.5 percent jump over 10 years.

“All of our institutions have been implementing strategic initiatives that have helped more students graduate with high-quality degrees and credentials,” said Council President Bob King. “These efforts are building the size and quality of Kentucky’s workforce, and will help grow the state’s economy.”

According to the report:

▪ Degrees and credentials conferred by the public institutions increased 2.6 percent from 2014-15 to 2015-16.

▪ During the same time, degrees conferred at the independent institutions grew 3.1 percent overall.

▪ Bachelor degree production was up 3.6 percent at the public universities, led by 12 percent gains at Murray State University and Morehead State University, a 7 percent gain at the University of Kentucky, and a 4 percent increase at Western Kentucky University.

▪ At the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, certificates grew 4.7 percent over 2014-15, while associate degrees increased only 0.3 percent over one year.

Over the past 10 years:

▪ KCTCS has produced a 49 percent increase in associate degrees and a 59 percent increase in certificates.

▪ Bachelors’ degree production has grown 23 percent at the public universities and 21 percent at Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities.

▪ While the number of master’s degrees conferred at the public universities has increased only slightly since 2006-07, doctoral degrees have increased 30 percent.

The state’s strategic plan, “Stronger by Degrees,” focuses on economic development by seeking to raise educational attainment levels in Kentucky to 58 percent in 2025.

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