UPIKE and Kentucky Christian sign articulation agreements with KCTCS

This week both the University of Pikeville (UPIKE) and Kentucky Christian University in Grayson announced major efforts to ease transfer for Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The University of Pikeville and KCTCS articulation agreement encompasses the entire KCTCS system. It provides opportunities for students to enroll jointly at KCTCS and UPIKE and for students with designated associate degrees to pursue a bachelor’s degree in 10 different programs. Students who participate in the KCTCS/UPIKE Joint Admission/Joint Enrollment Program will receive additional advising support and can enroll in courses at UPIKE at a reduced tuition rate while they are enrolled in classes at KCTCS. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for guaranteed admission to UPIKE.

For complete details, including which associate degrees and programs are included, see the story on upike.edu.

The transfer agreement between Kentucky Christian University and Ashland Community and Technical College focuses specifically on easing transfer for students pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and on making it cheaper for students to earn their four-year degree. The agreement calls for students to complete the first year of their nursing education at ACTC, then transfer to KCU for the remainder of the BSN program. The articulation agreement guarantees students’ credits earned at ACTC will transfer to Kentucky Christian University and apply toward the BSN at KCU. While ACTC (and many KCTCS schools) has a fine associate degree program for registered nurses, the BSN opens up further opportunities for career advancement as it is particularly valued by hospitals and other healthcare employers. The KCU program opens up access to the four-year nursing degree that was previously unavailable in the region.

The KCU and ACTC transfer agreement was lauded by the Ashland Daily Independent for reducing the costs to  local residents pursuing a BSN, both by providing the ability to take the first year of courses at the lower ACTC tuition rate and the opportunity to complete KCU’s BSN program online.

Increasing transfer is a major public policy emphasis in Kentucky and is a primary component of Stronger by Degrees, Kentucky’s 2011-2015 strategic plan for adult and postsecondary education. A number of AIKCU institutions have articulation agreements and partnerships with KCTCS that have historically allowed AIKCU to serve a relatively large percentage of the state’s transfers from KCTCS to four-year institutions.

This week’s higher ed headlines

These are articles and links we found interesting from around the web during the week ending Friday, December 9, 2011.

AIKCU campuses in the headlines:

KCU, ACTC to sign nursing pact (Ashland Independent)

Mid-Continent honors largest graduating class in history (The Lane Report)

Lindsey Wilson College celebrates 9th NAIA Men’s Soccer Championship

Berea professor apologizes for tweet (Kentucky.com)

On Monday, President Obama summoned a group of higher education leaders to the White House for a meeting to discuss ways to reign in college costs. Berea College president Larry Shinn was one of the 10 college presidents or system heads invited to attend.

Summoned to the White House (Inside Higher Ed)

Obama meeting focuses on cost, affordability, productivity (Inside Higher Ed)

At White House Meeting on Affordability, a Call for Urgency, Innovation, and Leadership (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Berea College chief describes meeting with Obama (Kentucky.com)

Lindsey Wilson College men’s soccer wins 9th NAIA National Championship

Congratulations to the Lindsey Wilson College men’s soccer team, which capped a perfect 23-0-0 season with a 3-2 overtime win over number 1 seed Hastings (Neb.) in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Championship Final. This is the 9th NAIA national title for Lindsey Wilson and the second undefeated season in the program’s history. Lindsey Wilson last won the NAIA title in 2009.

The second seeded Blue Raiders secured the victory on a goal by junior Lebogang Moloto in the 6th minute of overtime.

For a full account of the match and more details on the Blue Raiders’ perfect season, see the full coverage on lindseyathletics.com and the NAIA website.

Lindsey Wilson became the fourth AIKCU member to secure a national championship in 2011. The others include Bellarmine University (NCAA Div. II men’s basketball), University of Pikeville (NAIA men’s basketball), and Kentucky Christian University (NCCAA II women’s basketball).

This week’s higher ed headlines

We’re going to try something new this week.

We try to keep up with and share relevant news articles and blog posts pertaining to higher education and federal and Kentucky politics through feeds that aggregate and appear on our newsroom page. (Occasionally we’ve even been known to email important articles directly to members.)

But we realize a.) that we don’t always share everything of interest and b.) if you’re not following us on twitter or checking the website regularly there’s a chance you might have missed an important bit of news. So starting today, we’re going to experiment with a Friday news roundup of links we found important or interesting. Let us know in the comments if there’s something you saw this week that we missed.

Budget Secretary Mary Lassiter announced this week that some Kentucky state agencies would be subject to additional budget cuts this fiscal year. Fortunately for AIKCU students, Governor Beshear has continued to protect student financial aid in this most recent round of cuts.

Some Kentucky programs get 2 percent cuts to help balance state budget (Courier-Journal.com)

Congress and Education Secretary Arne Duncan were busy this week shining the spotlight on rising college costs:

House Subcommittee Seeks More Ways to Shrink College Costs (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

College price back in the spotlight (Inside Higher Ed)

Duncan Calls for Urgency on College Costs (NYTimes)

Now President Obama has summoned a group of 10 college presidents to the White House for a meeting to discuss college costs:

Summoned to the White House (Inside Higher Ed)

NPR featured a great piece about Berea College students this week during All Things Considered‘s Hard Times series:

Hard Times Inspire Ky. College Students to Action (NPR.org)

The Lexington Herald-Leader explored the amount of financial aid going to students at for-profit colleges:

Kentucky pays millions in scholarships to for-profit colleges (Kentucky.com) 

And here are just two of  several recent articles highlighting the growing importance of data in higher education practice and policy:

Better Data, Better (Graduation) Rates (Inside Higher Ed)

New Rule Will Allow States and Agencies to Release More Student Data (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

And this goes back more than a week, but if you missed it over the Thanskgiving holiday, here’s the front page Herald-Leader feature on Lindsey Wilson College president Bill Luckey’s Thanksgiving tradition:

Lindsey Wilson College president’s Thanksgiving tradition includes a meal for 60




AIKCU distributes $48,000 in UPS scholarships

AIKCU has distributed $48,000 in UPS Scholarships to students at private colleges and universities in Kentucky. The need-based scholarships were made possible by a grant from the UPS Educational Endowment Fund administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC.

Nationally, CIC and the UPS Foundation teamed up to provide nearly $1.45 million in student scholarships this year. The awards are distributed through state-based private college associations around the country.

Here in Kentucky, a student with financial need at each of the 20 AIKCU member institutions received a UPS Scholarship of $2,400 thanks to the generosity of UPS and CIC.

Here’s what a few of the AIKCU UPS Scholars had to say to the officers of the UPS Foundation about their awards:

I appreciate the fact that you are taking initiative and helping first generation college students have some form of financial assistance….I feel obligated to you and any other organization like UPS that would even take the time to invest in our futures. You not only focus on our educational endeavors but also look at who we are as a person. I sincerely thank you for what you are doing. Your actions will not go without recognition.

— Candace, Berea College

I am a premed student with hopes of continuing on to be a general practitioner. When I have made it through school, I hope to provide the very same assistance to students. I am both inspired and thankful to you for the encouragement and assistance you provide for students like me.

— Caris, Campbellsville University

I am writing to extend my deepest appreciation to you and your organization for awarding me the AIKCU scholarship. I believe that it is generous people like you that allow college students to excel. In today’s market, a college education is the key to success. Unfortunately, attending college can create a heavy financial burden. I want to thank you for lightening that load for me. The lighter the load, the more courses I can take to prepare for the future!

— Natalie Brooke, Lindsey Wilson College

It is important for me to be a positive role model for my younger brother. He needs to see that even with the absence of a father figure in our home; he can still achieve anything he puts his mind to. I want him to have something to strive for especially seeing me graduate and get a degree.…I do appreciate this opportunity that I have been given. It takes away some of the financial strain of having to pay for college on my own.

— Marlon, Mid-Continent University

I am an 18 year old mother of a 2 year old boy named Kayden. He’s my world, my reason for wanting to succeed!…Being the first in my family to attend college, I am determined to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Thank you for helping lift the financial burden of continuing my education. Your support allows me to focus on earning my nursing degree from Spalding University. I promise I will make good use of your investment.

–Amanda, Spalding University

This scholarship means a lot to me and my mother. Without this scholarship I was going into her retirement funds and taking out loans. I still have another little brother that has to go to college and I want him to have the same chance as me.

–RaShawn, University of Pikeville


Learn more about these and all the other AIKCU UPS Scholars in the UPS Named Scholars booklet (PDF) AIKCU assembled for the UPS Educational Foundation.

The UPS Educational Endowment Fund, which is held and administered by CIC, was initiated through endowment gifts from the UPS Foundation totaling $4 million and is now valued at $39 million. Since its inception, the fund has awarded over $48 million in scholarship support to over 16,000 students nationwide.


The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of nearly 700 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education’s contributions to society. To fulfill this mission, CIC provides its members with skills, tools, and knowledge that address aspects of leadership, financial management and performance, academic quality, and institutional visibility. In addition, 32 State Fund Members (including AIKCU) coordinate programs, provide information, and generate contributions, grants, and gifts in support of private colleges and universities within their respective states. For more information, visit www.cic.edu.

Take Action – Thank Congress for Supporting Student Aid!

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, and the November 23 deadline for the Congressional Super Committee’s debt reduction recommendations, AIKCU is asking students, faculty, and staff to reach out to our elected officials in Washington to show thanks for federal financial aid and student loan programs.

These federal programs make college possible for thousands of AIKCU students. While there’s a common misconception that rich kids go to private colleges, in reality about half of AIKCU undergraduates receive Pell Grants, the federal grants that support students with the lowest incomes.

To emphasize the importance of federal aid to our students, AIKCU is organizing the Thank You for Educating Kentucky’s Future Campaign. AIKCU has developed thank you cards and distributed a stack of blank cards to each member campus. We’re asking each campus to appoint a coordinator to oversee this card-writing campaign — it can be an official from student affairs, financial aid, the legislative liaison, or representatives from student government. The coordinator is responsible for encouraging people from the campus community to write to senators and representatives, collecting the completed cards (keeping track of total numbers addressed to each Senator and Representative for AIKCU tracking purposes), and making sure the cards get mailed.

We don’t have a lot of time to lose, so we’re kicking off this thank you campaign this Friday, November 18. Once the cards are on campus, we’re counting on our members to mobilize your campus community to write these notes. Our goal is to show Kentucky’s elected officials in Washington D.C. and their staffs the importance of student financial aid to our students. We want stacks of these postcards to pile up in legislators’ mailboxes. 

Thank you for your efforts to support student aid! Every voice (and card) counts!


Questions you may have:

To whom should I write?

U.S. Senators:  Every interested student, faculty, and staff member should try to write to both Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul. Campuses should have pre-addressed labels to affix to postcards addressed to Kentucky’s senators.

U.S. Representatives: Students should write to the U.S. Representative from their home district. You may also choose to write the representative serving your campus (if different than your home).

Kentucky Representatives:

If you’re not a Kentucky resident or you’re not sure who your Representative is, plug in your zip code to the congressional directory at Congress.org or Project Vote Smart.

What should my message say?

Messages should be short, hand-written (but legible), and indicate your appreciation for student financial aid (especially Pell) and student loan programs. Messages should be non-partisan and positive. Make sure to include the following:

  • Name
  • College or university’s name
  • Role (student, faculty, staff, alum)
  • A short thank you message focused on student aid (in your own words)
  • Signature
  • Hometown

Examples (don’t copy these – use your own words):

Dear Representative Guthrie:

Thank you for my Pell Grant. I’m a senior at _________ majoring in nursing.Without Pell my family would never have been able to afford the great education I’ve received here.

John Doe
Cave City


Dear Senator Paul:

I’m a faculty member at ____, where more than _____% of our students rely on Pell Grants. These are the future doctors, teachers, and business leaders who will shape the future of our region. Please continue to support these crucial student aid programs.


Jane Doe, PhD


Dear Senator McConnell:

Thank you for supporting the Pell Grant program. As a single mom with a full-time job and two children to support, I wouldn’t have been able to go back to school and complete my degree without Pell grants and student loans. Today I have a new job in management and am proud to call myself a ______ graduate.


Jim Doe


What else can I do to support student financial aid at the federal level?

If you haven’t yet, sign on to the Student Aid Alliance’s Statement of Support for Student Aid

Make a quick video testimonial: Film a quick (:30 or so) thank you video using a cell phone or flip camera covering the same territory we’re asking you to cover in the thank you postcards. Post it to YouTube and tweet it to @aikcu or email it to mason.dyer [at] aikcu.org. We’ll feature it on our website and/or Facebook page.

Follow @aikcu and @StuAidAlliance on Twitter for the latest updates and calls to action on student aid.

Other questions we haven’t anticipated? 

Give us a call at 502.695.5007 or email mason.dyer [at] aikcu.org

Education leaders gather at Asbury to hear from Gene Wilhoit

Gene Wilhoit as Asbury UniversityLast week education leaders from around Kentucky traveled to Asbury University to hear from Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director of the Council of Chief School Officers and former Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education. The event brought together officials from the Kentucky Department of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education, the Educational Professional Standards Board, administrators and education faculty from public and independent universities across the state, Asbury graduate students, and local P-12 administrators and faculty to explore some of the big issues and opportunities facing education.

Wilhoit praised Kentucky for its adoption of 2009’s Senate Bill 1 (now referred to as Unbridled Learning) and said that its mandate to bring K-12 and higher education together to address education reform was the most important part of the reform legislation. Wilhoit challenged the group to continue to strive to individualize learning, use data effectively, ensure that graduates are ready for college and careers, and to be more thoughtful about recruiting teachers into the profession and training them for the emerging world.

The event was hosted by the Asbury University Department of Education and office of the provost, and co-sponsored by AIKCU as part of our Senate Bill 1 grant activities.

For more on the event, see the write-up on Asbury.edu.

Class of 2010 student loan debt

Class of 2010 Student Loan Debt

Yesterday The Institute for College  Access & Success (TICAS) issued its Student Debt and the Class of 2010 report. The annual report provides national, state, and institution-level data on the federal student loan burden accumulated by students who graduated in a particular year. As the title indicates, this year’s report looks at those students who graduated in 2010. [These students, it should be noted, would have entered college at least two (and in many cases, more) years before the financial crisis of 2008.]

The report has gotten a lot of attention in outlets like the New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and others, as it doesn’t paint a particularly promising picture for students and families who continue to accumulate increasing levels of debt to pay for higher education and who are graduating to an uncertain job market. Nationwide, the average debt climbed by 5% over the previous year, to $25,250.

A bright note here in Kentucky is the fact that students at Kentucky institutions are graduating with debt levels significantly lower than the national average. (See for yourself with the interactive map on projectonstudentdebt.org.) Kentucky students borrowed about 30 percent less than the national average.

Class of 2010 Student Loan Debt

If you break the data down even further, things look even better for independent college students in Kentucky. As the graphic above shows, students at AIKCU institutions graduated with an average debt of $19,985. Students at Kentucky’s public universities borrowed $21,770 on average. Students from both sectors fare well against the national average of $25,250.

Note:  The Project on Student Debt only has loan data for 14/20 AIKCU institutions, while all 8 Kentucky public universities are included. Based on reports from previous years, we don’t anticipate that the missing AIKCU institutions would significantly impact the data (colleges with missing data include Alice Lloyd College, which has historically been recognized as a national leader in the least amount of student debt).

AIKCU delegation travels to China and Hong Kong

A group of AIKCU representatives is currently in China on a friend-building mission with a goal of increasing cross-cultural cooperation and opportunities for both Chinese and U.S. students. The 11 participants represent 7 member campuses and include presidents and officials from admissions, student affairs, and international student programs.

The group is meeting with university and secondary school officials, as well as students at both levels, to expose them to the opportunities Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities offer. The agenda for the 11-day trip (including travel) is jam-packed with meetings in Beijing, Tianjin, Nanchang, and Hong Kong.

The trip is an extension of AIKCU’s existing Chinese Student Recruitment Initiative and was developed in close cooperation with Larkin Trade International, AIKCU’s educational partner in Beijing, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

We hope to be able to post photos and first person accounts from the trip here and on our Facebook page soon, but for now, here’s a list of trip participants. (And just in case you were wondering, AIKCU is 肯塔基独立高校协会 in Mandarin.)

View all the delegates’ bios (in English and Mandarin) in a booklet created for the trip (PDF).


Centre College will host 2012 VP debate

Vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney (l) and Joe Lieberman (r) debated at Centre College

AIKCU member Centre College, in Danville, has been chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host the 2012 Vice Presidential debate. The debate is one of only four debates during the 2012 election and the sole vice presidential debate.

Centre also hosted the only vice presidential debate in 2000, when (then) Democrat Joe Lieberman faced off against Republican Dick Cheney. The commission took that experience into consideration when awarding the 2012 debate.

“First, Centre did an outstanding job of hosting the 2000 Vice Presidential Debate,” said Janet Brown, the commission’s executive director in a statement accompanying the release of the debate sites. “Second, Centre’s principal players from that debate are still at the college, and we value that experience. Finally, Centre’s facilities, as good as they were in 2000, are vastly improved now.”

The vice-presidential debate is scheduled to take place on October 11, 2012 at Centre’s Norton Center. The three presidential debate sites were also announced yesterday and will all be held at independent colleges: the University of Denver (October 3, 2012), Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (October 16), and Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida (October 22).

See the complete coverage, including photos and video, at Kentucky.com and Centre’s own announcement on Centre.edu.