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College Enrollment Up for 2012 High School Grads

More than 87 percent returned to college for second year

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 15, 2015) -- Two reports released today from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) include feedback on recent graduates from Kentucky's public high schools about their transition to college and success in their first year of college.

"The 2014 Kentucky High School Feedback Reports show that college-going rates throughout Kentucky are holding steady with about six of 10 of the state's public high school Class of 2012 enrolled in college, and that more students are entering school better prepared for college-level classes and careers," said Kate Akers, Ph.D., acting executive director of KCEWS.

The reports from KCEWS include the Kentucky High School Feedback Report on College Going and the Kentucky High School Feedback Report on College Success. Both reports give comparable data for each of Kentucky's 227 public high schools and 168 school districts.

"These feedback reports on recent public high school graduates in Kentucky are the most accurate, comprehensive data we have on the transition from high school to college and whether or not we are preparing students properly for the challenges of college and career. This information can be used by parents, educators, school board members, officials and others to gauge how their local schools and districts compare across the state," said Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Thomas O. Zawacki. KCEWS is administratively located in the cabinet.

The Kentucky High School Feedback Reports were produced by the KCEWS utilizing data from the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System (KLDS), which includes data from the Kentucky Department of Education, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.

The first report on college enrollment revealed that of the 43,176 Kentucky public high school students who graduated in 2012, 61.2 percent or 26,424 enrolled in some form of higher education compared to 60.2 percent of those who graduated in 2011 and 61.4 percent for 2010 graduates. The report is based on 2012-2013 college enrollment data, not surveys of students. Reports are not provided for alternative programs, but students from those schools are included in the district-level figures.

The college going report also includes the proportion from each school that went to college and the types of schools they are attending, ACT scores and information by gender, race and family income.

The statewide college going data showed that in the Class of 2012, nearly 90 percent started out as full-time students, about 9 percent attended an out-of-state college or university, and more than 50 percent were pursuing a bachelor's degree while nearly 35 percent were seeking an associate's degree.

Data also revealed that more than 54 percent of males compared to about 68 percent of females in the Class of 2012 attended college. In addition, nearly 61 percent of white students, about 58 percent of African-American students and 56 percent of Hispanic students attended college. More than 21 percent of students with access to special education attended college.

Of the 227 public high schools in the college going report, Brown School in Jefferson County, Paintsville High School, Beechwood High School in Kenton County, Model Laboratory High School in Madison County and Pikeville High School had college going rates at or above 90 percent for the Class of 2012. Brown School had the highest in the state at 91.9 percent with 34 of 37 graduates attending college.

The report illustrates the importance of improving college readiness rates for all high school graduates. The high school students who graduated in 2012 and were ready for college-level coursework or career were nearly twice as likely to attend college (82 percent compared to 43 percent) as those who were assessed as not college or career ready.

"This report is telling us two things. First, we need to work more effectively to support students admitted to our campuses so they can reach their academic goals. Secondly, we need to continue to support the work of K-12 to increase the number of high school students demonstrating college and career readiness," said Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

"Kentucky has made great strides in increasing its public high school graduation and college and career readiness rates in recent years," said Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. "The future of Kentucky's students - and the economic well-being of the Commonwealth - depends on their ability to acquire education and training after they graduate high school. The feedback reports give educators, parents and community members valuable information they can use as they strive to increase student achievement and better prepare their students to succeed in college and the workforce."

To view the first report on the students from the Class of 2012 who went to college, including individual high school and district information, go to https://kcews.ky.gov/Reports/HSFeedback/HSFeedbackReports.aspx.

In the college success report, students who graduated from public high schools in 2011 and were enrolled at an in-state public college or university during the 2011-12 academic year were tracked to see how they performed in their freshman year.

"You could say the college success report gives us the tale of two freshmen groups. The students who were ready for college-level coursework based on their ACT score and placement exam scores, earned on average 22.9 credit hours, had a first year GPA of 2.65 and more than 87 percent of them returned for their second year of college," said Akers.

"While the group of students who were not ready for college-level coursework earned on average 12.1 credit hours, had a first year GPA of 1.81 and about 69 percent of them returned for the second year of college."

To view the college success report on the Class of 2011, including individual high school and district information, go to https://kcews.ky.gov/Reports/HSFeedback/HSFeedbackReports.aspx.

KCEWS collects information about education and workforce at all levels to make better policy decisions statewide. They maintain the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System which securely links information from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to create a system that spans early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, financial aid, teacher licensure and preparation and other areas to develop a broader understanding about the education and training process as a seamless system.

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