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KCTCS sets records for total number of credentials awarded, most graduates for one year

Despite the significant disruption to the spring semester, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) awarded a record number of credentials to a record number of graduates.

Additionally, the record number of credentials awarded pushes the total number of credentials awarded to half a million since KCTCS was created.

For the 2019-20 academic year the 16 KCTCS colleges awarded 39,291 credentials, which included degrees, diplomas and certificates. This is up nearly 6 percent over last year, which itself was a record year.

Dr. Jay Box

The system also saw an increase of 7 percent in the number of credentials awarded to underrepresented minorities. Since the implementation of performance-based funding in 2015-16, KCTCS has seen a 40 percent increase in credentials awarded to underrepresented minorities, which helps continue to close the achievement gap. This compares to a 26 percent increase for other students.

Credentials in science, technology, engineering, math and health care (STEM+H) also increased from 13,155 in 2018-19 to 13,787 in 2019-20. Further, credentials in the state’s top demand segments increased from 28,944 to 31,143. In 2019-20, nearly 92 percent of non-transfer degrees KCTCS awarded were in the five key job sectors.

KCTCS also had 19,423 graduates, up more than 7 percent over last year.

“This is stunning information given the many changes our students faced in the spring because of COVID-19,” KCTCS President Jay K. Box said. “It wasn’t easy, but they found a way to persevere under challenging circumstances and adapted to the new remote instruction like true champions. I’m extremely proud of them and of our faculty that had to turn on a dime to teach in a new way.”

After moving to all remote instruction in March, several KCTCS colleges set up wi-fi hot spots in their parking lots to assist students who had no access to broadband. Faculty also worked to accommodate students who finished their courses on their phones because they did not have laptops or home computers.

Colleges kept food pantries stocked and gave away gift cards to help students who needed food or other necessities.

“Without a doubt, spring 2020 was the most challenging semester we’ve faced,” Box said. “I’ll be retiring in a few weeks and will leave KCTCS with a sense of pride because of what our students, faculty and staff accomplished, not just this spring, but every semester. Seeing us reach a milestone of half a million credentials awarded to Kentuckians since the system was created is especially gratifying.”

From Kentucky Community and Technical College System

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