Rogue Magazine News Kentucky’s Plans to Keep Students in College

Kentucky’s Plans to Keep Students in College

Kentucky has, for the past few years, been working towards improving its postsecondary education rate. As of late, this has been working remarkably well. The target goal of 60% of the population having some form of postsecondary education hasn’t yet been met. However, with the rate holding at  55% as of 2023 state is well on track.

Alongside this overall increase in education, there have been specific increases in degrees awarded to minorities and graduation rates. These changes are due in no small part to organizations and funds the Kentucky government has been collaborating with. These collaborations have produced three key strategies.

The first is a measure to ensure that people in college have their basic needs met. The biggest decline in undergraduate enrollment as of late has come from low income students. Kentucky screens for and provides resources to low income students to ensure they don’t drop out. This is particularly important because the vast majority of students who drop out due to financial reasons do not return. 

Other methods that have worked to keep people in school are improving transfer pathways and gateway course success. Gateway courses are the introductory courses students begin with and have a massive influence on college retention. Not only do they increase overall retention, but succeeding in these courses is a great indicator of maturation. Ensuring that these courses are effective and passable is a great way to solidify a path for those same students.

Transfer pathways operate in the opposite direction. In the moments when students want to leave a college and try something new, these ensure that’s possible. There are countless reasons for college transfers, and the reality is that most transfers fail to graduate. Seamless and practical transfer pathways work to ensure that this is as unlikely as possible. 

It’s measures like these that Kentucky is in the process of rolling out to help with education in the state. These are largely efforts to keep students in college, something which is very achievable on the state level. After all, the issues around the price and utility of degrees, are very real concerns and are much larger in nature. It’s issues like these that keep people out of college, so instead Kentucky is working to keep people in.

Kentucky Student Success Story in the Making
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative

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