Asbury University expands online degree offerings

Beginning this fall, Asbury University is offering new online degrees to expand its services beyond its Wilmore, Ky., and Orlando, Fla., campuses.

Two of the programs, Criminal Justice and Elementary Education, are degree-completion programs in which students may combine Asbury’s courses with core education classes from other institutions to receive a bachelor of science degree. The other two programs, Principal Licensure and “Teacher as Leader” endorsement, offer graduate-level courses for educators that can lead to licensure, master’s degree or Rank I in Education.

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Kentucky has record number of college grads in 2010-11; AIKCU degrees up 9%

Kentucky’s statewide focus on increasing the number of college degree holders continues to yield positive results.

An all-time high of 62,700 degrees and credentials were awarded during 2010-11, according to a preliminary report issued this week by the Council on Postsecondary Education.

The report shows total degrees and credentials awarded in Kentucky increased 11 percent over the previous year. Growth was strong across all postsecondary sectors at all levels.

AIKCU institutions led the state in bachelor’s degree growth. The independent colleges and universities saw a 9.6 percent growth over 2009-10 in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded. Statewide, bachelor’s degrees increased by 6 percent.

Graduate education grew 9.5 percent across the state, with AIKCU graduate degrees increasing by 8.3 percent. While growth was seen at all graduate degree levels, new and expanded professional-practice doctoral programs at Kentucky’s public comprehensive and independent universities led to an 18 percent increase in the number of these advanced practice degrees in just one year.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s associate degrees increased by 13 percent and workforce-oriented diplomas grew by 32 percent.

CPE President Bob King applauded the growth across all sectors. “These graduates will not only enjoy numerous individual benefits including the potential for higher lifetime earnings, but they will help meet Kentucky’s need to grow a more highly skilled workforce and robust economy,” said King.

King said he expects the growth in degrees will accelerate as Kentucky fully implements its new strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education, Stronger by Degrees.

Over the last 10 years, AIKCU institutions have increased degree production by 66 percent, including 39 percent growth at the bachelor’s degree level. During that same period, Kentucky’s overall degree output has increased by 109 percent (led by extraordinary growth at KCTCS), with 40 percent growth in bachelor’s degrees.

AIKCU President Gary S. Cox said that the continued growth in degrees at independent colleges and universities despite the recent economic downturn is a testament to the institutions’ commitment to student success and to a stronger Kentucky.

“These degree numbers are indicative of our members’ continued commitment to providing high quality, affordable educations to students and to helping Kentucky reach our common goal of an educated workforce,” said Cox.

CPE will release its official 2010-11 degrees report in the fall of 2011.


Official CPE news release

CPE 2010-11 Preliminary Degrees Report

Spreadsheet: Total Degrees by Level

Chart: One and 10-Year Increases in Statewide Degrees


St. Catharine, Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson collaborate on SB 1 Symposium

More than 70 faculty members and administrators from Campbellsville University, Lindsey Wilson College, and St. Catharine College assembled at St. Catharine on May 17 for a symposium focused on Senate Bill 1 and its implications for higher education.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 1 of 2009 is the most sweeping reform of education in Kentucky since the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) of 1990. Senate Bill 1 calls for higher and more rigorous learning standards to ensure more Kentuckians graduate from high school ready for college or career. SB 1 requires collaboration among postsecondary institutions, with an emphasis on teacher preparation programs but also involving arts and sciences faculty, to accomplish this goal.

Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday provided the keynote for the symposium. Holliday reviewed the steps that the Kentucky Department of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Educational Standards Board have taken to implement Senate Bill 1 and discussed the critical role teacher preparation programs play in ensuring classroom teachers are able to implement Kentucky’s new standards.

Commissioner Holliday said that despite the complexity of Senate Bill 1 and the collaboration required to accomplish its goals, “Our vision is simple: every child must be proficient and prepared for success. And prepared for success translates to college and career ready.”

AIKCU President Gary S. Cox stressed to attendees from the three institutions that it is crucial for the independent college sector to be involved early in the implementation of Senate Bill 1, because the future of their programs and the success of their future students depends upon its success.

Other presenters during the morning session included Dr. Pam Rogers, AIKCU’s Senate Bill 1 Initiative coordinator, and Charles McGrew, Director of the Kentucky P-20 Data Collaborative. Rogers talked about the implications of Senate Bill 1 for the higher education classroom. McGrew discussed the development of Kentucky’s P-20 Data Collaborative, which when complete will link the P-12, postsecondary, teacher preparation/certification (EPSB), and workforce data systems to help policymakers and others assess the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, among other things.

The afternoon was divided into four breakout sessions for faculty subgroups of teacher preparation, English, math, and other faculty to allow attendees to dive deeper into the particular implications of Senate Bill 1 for their disciplines.

The collaborative symposium involving CU, LWC, and SCC – a first of its kind professional development collaboration between multiple AIKCU members – was made possible by AIKCU’s Senate Bill 1 Initiative, which is in turn funded by a grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Under the grant AIKCU is charged with helping its members facilitate professional development activities that fulfill the requirements of Senate Bill 1. A portion of grant funds were allocated to support faculty development at individual campuses, while some funds were held in reserve for collaborative projects like this symposium. AIKCU will also facilitate additional collaborative opportunities.

To learn more about AIKCU’s grant-funded Senate Bill 1 Initiative, check out the project blog or contact Dr. Pam Rogers.

For more on the broad Kentucky postsecondary community’s Senate Bill 1 efforts, visit