FRANKFORT, Ky. – Personal income, enrollment in college courses and the number of degrees and credentials awarded all showed gains over the past year, according to the latest progress report on postsecondary education produced by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
The 2011 update is the third the Chamber has issued since its Task Force on Postsecondary Education conducted a 10-year assessment of the progress that has been made since Kentucky’s 1997 postsecondary education reforms. That independent review was released in December 2007 and included a set of statistical indicators recommended by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, which assisted in the preparation of the report.
Several key points emerged from the 2011 update:
- Kentucky’s national ranking in per capita income moved from 47th to 44th.
- Kentucky ranked third among the states for percentage growth in personal income from 2009 to 2010. Personal income is defined as that received by all residents from all sources.
- The state has moved up two positions and now ranks 45th nationally in the education attainment of 25- to 64-year-olds.
- Between 2000 and 2009, Kentucky moved from 44th to 36th in the percentage of college-degree holders among people who are 25 to 44 years old.
- Enrollment continues to increase at public and independent postsecondary institutions, growing to 266,462 students in the fall of 2010.
- Kentucky’s public and private institutions conferred a record number of degrees and credentials during the 2010-2011 academic year – 62,700, according to the Council on Postsecondary Education’s preliminary report.
- Affordability continues to be a challenge, with tuition increasing again at all public institutions.
The Chamber report follows a recent release from the Council on Postsecondary Education noting that Kentucky has improved faster than any state in the nation on such key indicators as college attainment among working-aged adults, the percentage of degree holders among younger adults and the number of undergraduate credentials awarded per 1,000 adults with no college degree.
Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson described the progress reports as the most encouraging news he has heard about Kentucky in several years. “The business community embraced higher education reform and saw it as an important part of the economic future of this state. We have stayed with it through the years and, while encouraged by this progress, also know that much work remains to be done if Kentucky is to achieve its goals for economic growth.”
The full report is available www.kychamber.com/highereducation2011.