The Richmond Register

Local News

October 23, 2007

CPE, EKU officials discuss how to increase numbers

Representatives from the state Council on Postsecondary Education met Monday with Eastern Kentucky University officials to discuss its role in increasing the number of college graduates to the national average by 2020.

CPE’s “Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates” released Wednesday explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity and meet the goals of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997.

“If, within that period of time, we could double the numbers of college graduates that live within our borders, it would have a more dramatic effect on the state’s economy than on anything other we’ve done in any 20-year period in the state’s history,” said Brad Cowgill, CPE interim president.

The plan includes five statewide strategies, as well as a regional approach that sets targets for each strategy in nine regions across the state.

Doubling the number of bachelor’s degree holders in the 22-county southeast region, which includes Madison County, could raise the average household in come from $23,043 to $45,237, according to the report.

The southeast region, which, along with EKU, includes Berea College, would have to have 7,039 high school graduates, 2,957 GED graduates, 1,872 two- to four-year transfers, 4,692 bachelor’s degrees and 10,414 imported bachelor’s degree holders, by 2020 to meet the strategy targets.

The plan calls for EKU to increase bachelor’s degrees from 1,979 in 2007 to 2,397 in 2020.

“We’re taking the approach that we’re going to serve this 22-county campus to the best of our ability,” said EKU President Doug Whitlock.

“We realize that in order to get there we’re going to have to do a much more effective job in serving the needs of these 22-county campuses and carrying those needs into the field,” he said. “This can’t all be done in Richmond.”

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