Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 5th Meeting

of the 2008 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> October 13, 2008

 

The<MeetNo2> fifth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> October 13, 2008, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, CDT, at the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, Schneider Hall, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky.† <Room> Representative Hubert Collins presided over the meeting.† He called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Senators Brett Guthrie, Dan Kelly, and Elizabeth Tori; Representatives Hubert Collins, Jim DeCesare, Ted Edmonds, C. B. Embry Jr., Tim Firkins, Jim Glenn, Derrick Graham, Jeff Greer, Jimmy Higdon, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly Jr., Tom Riner, Carl Rollins II, Charles Siler, Dottie Sims, Alecia Webb-Edgington, and Addia Wuchner.

 

Guests:† Representative Jody Richards, Speaker of the House; Jonathan Lowe, LRC Budget Review Office; Kelly Jenkins, Family Resources and Youth Services Coalition of Kentucky (FRYSCKy); Shannon Morgan, General Counsel, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet; Wilson Sears, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; Linda Krutza, FRYSC-BGISD; Frank Rasche, Legislative Liaison, Kentucky Department of Education; and Ruth Webb, Deputy Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education.

 

LRC Staff:† Audrey Carr, Sandy Deaton, Janet Stevens, and Janet Oliver.

 

Representative Collins asked for approval of the minutes of the September 8, 2008, meeting.† Upon motion by Senator Winters, seconded by Senator Guthrie, the minutes were approved by voice vote.

 

Representative Collins recognized Representative Jody Richards, Speaker of the House.† Speaker Richards expressed his appreciation to the committee for meeting at Western Kentucky University and touring the Gatton Academy.† He also thanked Representative Collins for agreeing to preside over the meeting and acknowledged the great leadership that Frank Rasche, who was in the audience, had provided during his tenure as chair of the House Education Committee.† Speaker Richards thanked President Gary Ransdell of Western Kentucky University for hosting the meeting.

 

Representative Collins asked Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair of the Education Committee, to make brief comments.† Senator Winters said he is pleased with the progress being made at the Academy and looked forward to the tour and meeting with the students from his district.

 

Representative Collins asked the members to observe a moment of silence in memory and respect of Representative Larry Belcher who tragically died in an automobile accident on October 5, 2008.†† He said that Representative Belcher had been a dedicated member of the General Assembly and the House Education Committee.

 

President Ransdell welcomed committee members to Western Kentucky University (WKU).† He introduced Tim Gott, Director of the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, and Corey Alderdice, Assistant Director of the Academy.† President Ransdell said that the Academy is named in honor of the C. M. Bill Gatton, a philanthropist who provided a $4 million gift to be paid over a 10 year period at $400,000 a year in direct support of programming for the students of the Academy.† He said the gift complemented the General Assemblyís appropriation to establish an academy for mathematics and science in Kentucky which could provide an opportunity for gifted and talented students to accelerate their education in a challenging learning environment.† President Ransdell said the Academy is also part of WKUís economic development strategy which is already producing dividends.†

 

Committee members were provided a folder of information regarding the Gatton Academy that included the PowerPoint presentation used by Mr. Gott and Mr. Alderdice to discuss the Academy.

 

Mr. Gott explained that the Academy has coined the phrase ďInnervation Through InnovationĒ to describe the Academyís goal of providing stimulation to its students so they will achieve a higher level of learning and to bring out their full potential.† Mr. Gott said the Academyís mission is to provide a residential program for students who have a desire to excel in math and science and pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.† He said in addition to providing a challenging learning environment for exceptional students, the Academy is also an economic development tool for Kentucky and serves as a beacon of excellence.† Mr. Gott said the Academy surrounds the students with a companionship of peers and encourages creativity, curiosity, reasoning and self-discipline that lead to independent thought and action.

 

Mr. Alderdice said Kentucky is the 14th state to have a state funded residential program and other cohort institutions in Texas, Missouri, and Georgia are located on university campuses.† He said numerous partnerships developed on the WKU campus ensure success of Academy students, including the Center for Gifted Studies, the Honors College, the Applied Research and Technology Program, and the Ogden College of Science and Engineering.† He said the Honors College has traditional undergraduate students who act as the Academy studentsí peers to provide academic, social, and emotional support.

 

Mr. Alderdice said that 81 counties have been represented during the first three admission cycles at the Academy and 131 applications were received from 61 counties for the 2010 class of which 63 students have been accepted.†† He said the 29 male and 34 female students accepted for 2010 have an average ACT Composite Score of 28.75 with an average ACT Math of 29.14.† He said the Academyís core curriculum includes 12 university courses in math and science taught by WKU professors and all students must complete Computational Problem Solving, Trigonometry, Calculus I and II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and four other science and math electives. †He said that the Computational Problem Solving course was developed specifically for Academy students and is based on real world problem solving strategies and integrated technology.† He said the students must also take any additional courses they may need to meet all pre-college requirements.

 

Mr. Gott said one of the most exciting components offered to the students is research available through the Ogden College of Science and Engineering in such fields as physics, chemistry, biology, geology, architecture, meteorology, and agriculture, including cutting edge work being done in new alternative fuels, cancer research, origins of the universe, and other projects.† He said some Academy students have already presented at national conferences, published research with professors, and won honors on campus in undergraduate research symposiums.† As an example, students presented at the Gerontology National Convention in Atlanta and one student was selected for one of 75 slots at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a junior to do particular research for the Department of Defense resulting in a published work.† He said MIT is now actively recruiting Gatton Academy students.

 

Mr. Gott said that Academy students also have a balanced living and learning environment and have participated in many extra-curricular activities, such as YMCA, student government, Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA), and Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA); and students have logged 2871 hours of community service.

 

Mr. Alderdice explained that students are admitted through a competitive admissions process and the application includes high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, letters of recommendation, and personal interviews.† He said the applications are reviewed and approximately 100 students are invited to campus in the spring to interview for the program and that 60 students are selected each year.† He said the Academy conducts information sessions throughout the state to publicize the tremendous opportunity the Academy provides for gifted students.†

 

Mr. Gott said that 54 students graduated in the inaugural Class of 2008 and those students accepted $2.6 million in scholarships and six were National Merit finalists.† He said 25 of the 54 have continued their undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University, 12 are attending the University of Kentucky, 5 are attending the University of Louisville, 3 are attending Centre College, one is attending Northern Kentucky University, and the remaining students are attending out-of-state universities.†

 

Mr. Gott said that Academy students have an average composite ACT of 28.3 compared to a state average of 18.3; and their CATS scores are also considerably higher than the state average.† ††††††††††††††††††††††

 

Representative Collins asked how many students are accepted.† Mr. Gott replied that the 2008 class was comprised of 55 seniors and 65 juniors and that 54 of the 55 seniors graduated.† Representative Collins asked about the timeframe for submission of the application and when it is accepted.† Mr. Alderdice responded that students apply in their sophomore year with a postmark deadline of February 13; the interviews are conducted in early March; and students are notified in late April of their sophomore if they have been accepted to the program.

 

Senator Kelly asked what foreign language opportunities are available for the students.† Mr. Gott responded that current students are taking Spanish, French, German, Chinese, or Japanese, and they also may take Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew.†

 

Senator Guthrie asked the committee to applaud Dr. Julia Roberts, Director, Center for Gifted Studies, Western Kentucky University, on her vision for the Academy and perseverance in its creation.† He said that the facilities have been greatly improved to accommodate the Academy and the Academy has excellent staff.† Senator Guthrie asked how the 16 and 17 year old students interact socially with college students and what oversight is provided.† Mr. Gott responded that they seem to easily acclimate to the environment and residential staff provides oversight.

 

Representative DeCesare welcomed the committee members to Warren County and said that Dr. Roberts and Speaker Richards were instrumental in spearheading the Academy effort.† He said the Academy is not only having a positive impact on WKU but also on Warren County and the entire state.† He asked Speaker Richards if he could give a brief history of the development of the Academy.

 

Speaker Richards said that he learned of similar efforts after attending a Southern Regional Educational Board meeting more than ten years ago and that he and Dr. Roberts began discussions about the benefits such an institution would bring to Kentucky, but the idea really took hold when President Ransdell came to the university.† He said numerous legislators, educators, and citizens across the state also assisted in the effort.† Speaker Richards asked Mr. Gott if he would inform the members of the impressive research efforts in which the students are involved.† Mr. Gott said that two students are working with scientists in the Astronomy Department studying star fields; one student is researching metal diffusion and his work will be submitted to Siemans Westinghouse competition in early Spring; one student is working with scientists in the Chemistry Department on how to make semi-conductors work more efficiently; two students are working with bovine eye cells to find ways to cause those to heal faster using certain chemicals; and one student studying raccoon feces has found that a specific parasite is prevalent in the region which may lead to health issues and will assist with prevention of certain diseases in the area.

 

Representative DeCesare asked if any of the Academy students had participated in the Super Saturday program to which Mr. Alderdice replied that in the first group of 120 students in the inaugural class at the Academy 30 students had either participated in Super Saturdays or other programs offered by the Center for Gifted Studies.† He said that KDE also allocated funds to assist the Academy in publicizing its program to an underrepresented population of students.†

 

Representative Miller said that he is a WKU alumnus and is very impressed with the tremendous improvements that have occurred under President Ransdellís leadership.† He said he believes it is important to provide special programs for the gifted and talented.† Representative Miller asked why so many counties have no representation at the Academy, in particular his district, where there are many gifted students; and he asked how students are selected to attend the program.† Mr. Alderdice said many districts, including Jefferson County, have excellent programs for gifted students, and the students who seem most eager to attend the Academy are those who do not have those same opportunities.† Representative Miller asked if school counselors have been informed about the Academy. †Mr. Alderdice said they work with various school personnel including counselors, math teachers, and others and they also do direct mailings to over 7500 students.† He said the Academy is also represented at various professional conferences for school personnel to publicize the program. †Representative Miller asked if at least a majority of the high schools in Kentucky are familiar with the program.† Mr. Alderdice said greater effort is now being made, especially in Eastern Kentucky where there is a lower density of population, to publicize the program.† Representative Miller asked if county representation is a criterion when all other criteria is equal to which Mr. Gott responded that geographical diversity would be taken into consideration.† Dr. Ransdell said that the number of students accepted into the Academy is limited by facility space, which currently is 120 beds.† He said Schneider Hall was built in 1926 and that approximately $10 million in renovation was required with half the funding from a state appropriation and half from WKUís budget.† He said only the existing facility was renovated and it is hoped in the future that new construction wings may be added to increase capacity by 80 beds to 200, if the Academy continues to prove successful.†

 

Representative Graham asked what a typical day would be for a student at the Academy, if the student takes a college equivalent of classes, and how many credits a student typically earns.† Mr. Gott said that curriculum information is provided on Pages 10 and 11 of the brochure given to committee members.† He said a typical student takes approximately 16 hours each semester and must take other required courses to complete high school and pre-college curriculum.† He said the Academy provides residential staff to coordinate student activities; first year students have a required two hour study time each weekday evening; and all students have a 10:30 PM curfew Sunday-Thursday and a midnight curfew on Friday and Saturday.† Representative Graham asked how a studentís social interaction with college students is monitored.† Mr. Gott said that the Academy provides residential counselors, academic counselors, and a coordinator for research and internships, all of whom monitor student activity.† He said that each student is also required to carry a student identity card which also serves as a security key that must be scanned for entry into dormitory halls and rooms and the Academy building enabling faculty and staff to monitor student activity.†

 

Senator Kelly asked how many college credits a student will earn while in the program and Mr. Gott responded that on average at least 60 college credits.

 

Representative Moberly asked what percentage of classes the students take with other college students.† Mr. Gott said that 30% of the classes are just Gatton Academy students and the remainder of their classes is with students from the Honors College and the general population.† Representative Moberly asked if students are allowed visitation between the two wings during the day at any time.† Mr. Gott responded that male and females are not allowed to enter each otherís respective dormitory areas although there are common areas where students may interact as a general population.† Representative Moberly asked what tuition or fees are paid by the student.† Mr. Gott said that tuition, room, and board are paid through a state appropriation and the students pay for their books, course fees, labs, and incidentals.† He said some of the home school districts help pay the book fees with the studentís SEEK funding because the student is jointly enrolled in the home county school and the Academy, although it is not a requirement.† Representative Moberly asked if all the classes are taught by WKU faculty and Mr. Gott responded yes.

 

Representative Collins said that his home district of Johnson County has many outstanding academic teams although no one from that county is enrolled and he hopes they will be represented in the future at the Academy.

 

Senator Winters asked about Super Saturday activities.† Dr. Roberts said Super Saturday activities were initiated during the inaugural pre-season as a means to disseminate information about the program.† She said that although the geographic home of a student is considered, the most important requirement is for the student to have the qualities necessary to ensure success at the Academy.† Senator Winters said he would never want an unqualified applicant accepted in the program but he said it is fair that when there are more than sufficient qualified applicants location should enter into the criteria for acceptance.

 

Representative Collins recessed the meeting at 11:15 AM for a tour of the facilities and lunch with the students.† The meeting reconvened at 1:00 PM.

 

Mr. Gott introduced the following students:† Ellen Boswell from Henderson County, an Academy graduate currently enrolled at Western Kentucky University; Matthew Kirk, an Academy senior from Ohio County; and Manuel Cortez, an Academy junior from Graves County.

 

Mr. Cortez said he heard about the Academy from his school guidance counselor and obtained more information from an informational session held at his high school.† He said that the curriculum is very rigorous but the Academy does offer services of tutors to assist them.† He said he was at the top of his class in Graves County but the courses offered there were extremely easy and he welcomed the challenge of more rigorous classes and the opportunity to be surrounded by other students who also have a desire to excel.

 

Mr. Kirk, a second year student at the Academy, said his transition to the Academy was initially difficult.† He said that his high school classes had been so easy for him that he had not developed good study habits and was lacking in self-discipline and time management skills.† He said the challenges have caused him to grow overall into a better student and person.† He said one significant difference is that high school teachers are readily available to assist and are concerned about a studentís test scores but at the Academy a student must seek out college professors for assistance.† Mr. Kirk said he currently plans to remain at WKU to pursue a masterís degree in biology and then apply for medical school at the University of Louisville.†† He said there is only one physician in his home county who is nearing retirement and he hopes to return there to practice medicine.

 

Ms. Boswell said that attending the Academy helped her discover her own strengths and weaknesses, in which situations she can be a leader, and how to study for tests.† She said she has gained quality research skills that will help in completing a thesis and possibly pursuing a doctorate degree, although she has not yet chosen a career field.† Ms. Boswell said she is on an excellent scholarship and remained at WKU because all of her credit hours count toward the degree she is pursuing in math and because of the abundant research opportunities available at the university.† She related she is actively involved in extracurricular activities, such as the Baptist Campus Ministry of which she is a member of the leadership council.

 

Representative Glenn asked if the Academy has an ambassador program that allows students to speak with freshmen and sophomores throughout the state to give them incentives to improve test scores and academics so they may apply to the Academy.† Mr. Kirk responded that the Academy does have a program and he personally serves as an Academy ambassador.† Representative Glenn asked if the graduation certificate or diploma is from the Academy or a studentís home high school.† Ms. Boswell said that she had been dually enrolled and therefore she was able to graduate with her home high school class and also from the Academy and she has a diploma from both.†

 

Representative Graham asked if the dual enrollment situation has changed.† Mr. Gott said that school districts still have the option to allow a student to have dual enrollment but it will no longer be a requirement.† He said several Academy students were home schooled or in parochial schools and those students will only receive an Academy certificate.† Representative Graham said he hopes that all districts will provide the option for students to remain connected to their home schools.† Mr. Gott said that all districts represented at the Academy have been supportive of the program.

 

Senator Guthrie said that legislation was passed that allowed the CATS scores of the students attending the Academy to be reflected in the school districtís scores.† Dr. Roberts said one of the benefits to the home district is the CATS scores and the district also gets to claim the honors, such as scholarships awarded to Academy students.

 

Senator Winters and Representative Collins thanked the students for their presentations and encouraged them to pursue their promising futures.†

 

Representative Collins asked President Ransdell to give his presentation.† A copy of the PowerPoint presentation used by President Ransdell was provided to each committee member.

 

Presidential Ransdell provided information on WKU enrollment and said that, since the passage of House Bill 1 in 1997, WKU has been the fastest growing university in Kentucky.† He said the average ACT score for incoming freshmen is 22 and the average high school GPA is 3.2, so they continue to attract Kentuckyís best and brightest students.† He said that WKU has experienced a 34% growth in enrollment since 1997 and has a current enrollment of 19,555.† †He said WKU and all the other state universities and colleges are dedicated to higher education reform and achieving the ďDouble the NumbersĒ goal.

 

President Ransdell provided information on the number of applications received, actual enrollments, and the number of students from underserved counties showing an upward trend in all categories, even though tuition has continued to increase.† He said, in an effort to offset increased tuition, the state is assisting with financial aid and the state along with WKU is provided merit based scholarships.† President Ransdell related that Kentuckyís tuition is in the median of surrounding states and it is important that they receive consistent state funding to maintain a reasonable tuition, which is currently $3,465.

 

President Ransdell said that the number of Baccalaureate degrees has increased 39% since 1997 with 2,391 degrees awarded in 2008, the second highest in Kentucky.† He said WKUís location along the I-65 corridor has been important in the growth of enrollment and the strong economy and a good partnership with city and county government have also been factors.† He said that Master and Specialist degrees have increased by 58% since 1997.† President Ransdell provided information on retention and graduation statistics showing the rate has remained constant since 1997 at 72%, although the percentage is of a much larger enrollment today than in 1997 and is consistent with the national average; and the six-year graduation rate has increased by 10 percentage points since 1997 to 49.1%.†

 

President Ransdell said the university has instituted several initiatives to improve retention and graduation rates and discussed three in particular: the University Experience course designed for freshmen to orient them to the university experience with focus on study habits, time management, financial management, social relationships, etc., the four-day MASTER plan program that all incoming students may take to help them form an identity and focus toward graduation in a given year, prior to arrival of upper classmen; and †Living/Learning communities and the Gateway Program provided in the residence halls that are dedicated to specific disciplines, i.e., nursing students live on a floor of a certain residence hall and their faculty are engaged with them in that living/learning community.† President Ransdell said Western also has a Student Success Center to provide undergraduate advisement functions, such as peer tutoring, career planning and placement offices, to help students graduate in a timely manner.† He said the Alice Rowe Learning Assistance Center located at Bowling Green Community College also teaches students study skills, provides workshops on special topics, and has a program for at-risk students.† He said the community college in Bowling Green has over 2,000 students enrolled and houses most of the associate degree programs and is the location of students who wish to enroll at WKU but have not yet met admission standards.† He said the community college is under the universityís accreditation.†

 

President Ransdell said that the number of freshmen needing developmental education is still significant although the percentage has shown some decline.† He said WKU has been working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on core curriculum credits although the number of transfer students has declined somewhat because many students enroll in community colleges just to obtain an associate degree.† He said most of WKUís transfers come from Owensboro and Elizabethtown because of dual enrollment/dual credit curriculum with those community colleges.

 

President Ransdell said that WKU is focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and provided information on the various degree programs offered at WKU, including Baccalaureate programs in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering, which have had a significant impact on economic development in the area.† He said the second largest Major degree program at Western is nursing.† President Ransdell said 4,159 STEM Major degrees were earned in 2008, and the number of first year students seeking STEM majors has doubled since 1997 and the number of degrees by residency has increased 33%.

 

President Ransdell said WKU has been very aggressive in having its students pursue major national and international scholarships providing as an example that four students have received the highly competitive Barry M. Goldwater scholarships in the last two years, 20 students were accepted to medical school last year, 8 were accepted to dental school, and 26 students are now attending pharmacy school.† He said that WKU students are generally the largest number accepted at the 35 slots allotted for Kentucky at Auburn University for veterinary school.† ††

 

President Ransdell also discussed the Southern Kentucky (SKy) Teach Program, explaining that it is a dimension of the University of Texas, Austin (UTeach) program.† He said WKU is one of only 12 institutions to receive a $2.5 million grant from Exxon Mobil Foundation to fund the program designed to train teachers in STEM disciplines and place them in public schools.† ††

 

President Ransdell said WKUís Applied Research and Technology Program is another important economic development strategy and committee members were provided a brochure explaining the program.† He said funding provided by the legislature was used to convert a vacant shopping mall close to the south campus community college into the Center for Research and Development that houses the Applied Physics Institute, the Institute for Combustion Science and Environmental Technology, and Materials Characterization Center, resulting in the creation of 20 companies, such as Northwest Nuclear and Electronic Warfare Associates, employing 591 highly paid employees with an annual payroll of nearly $7 million dollars, and that large companies are growing out of the satellite companies at the Center.† He said the original $2 million dollar investment made several years ago has returned many times that amount to the regionís economy.

 

President Ransdell provided information on student financial assistance, stating that an exceedingly large number of WKU students receive financial aid of one form or another, with the largest percentage being student loans.† He said loans are a cause for concern although a home mortgage and college loan may be the most important loans an individual or family will ever undertake.† He said that a combination of merit-based aid by universities and need-based aid by state funding warrants more discussion in the future.†

 

President Ransdell discussed the Council on Postsecondary Educationís (CPE) Kentucky Project Graduate program aimed at former students who have 90 plus hours but have not yet received a degree.† He said WKU created its own version and has begun to make significant progress even though the project is only a year old. †He said more than 1,800 former WKU students have been contacted, of which 800 have requested more information and 61 are now enrolled.

 

President Ransdell said that the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach is the umbrella for WKUís regional campuses in Owensboro, Elizabethtown and Glasgow with a total enrollment of 4,244, representing a 50% increase in enrollment since 2001.† He said WKU also offers nearly 30 Majors completely online and has approximately 2,000 students currently taking online classes.† He said online programs will never be the panacea to solve all of the learning issues and will never be the primary means by which a WKU learning experience is delivered but it is an important delivery method for many students who can only access WKU online and some full-time students on campus also access some online courses. †

 

President Ransdell said the Glasgow campus has the largest enrollment and is currently using modular units to house classes because of lack of space.† He said the Elizabethtown/Radcliff/Ft. Knox Regional Campus has over a 1,000 enrollments and that WKU is using its own funds for construction, renovation, and equipment at this campus primarily to accommodate an influx of relocated employees and to provide training for local residents in jobs associated with Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) demographics at Ft. Knox.† President Ransdell said the Owensboro campus also has over a 1,000 enrollments and is important to the economic development of Owensboro.† He said that the Daviess County Fiscal Court is actually investing in a building that will be leased to WKU to allow the university services to grow in partnership with Owensboro Community and Technical College.

 

President Ransdell said WKU is pleased with the investment being made in gifted students by funding of the Gatton Academy.† He said that WKU has created a new three year scholarship which Academy students can apply for to fund a Baccalaureate degree, a Masterís degree, have a semester abroad, and an undergraduate research stipend.† He said the WKU Board took action in 1997 to create the only independent Honors College on a public university campus in Kentucky where a student can actually come to WKU and have a dual degree, one from the College of Science and Engineering or Business or Education and a degree from the Honors College.

 

President Ransdell said the Doctoral program in education was created in the summer which offers a Doctoral Degree in Education Leadership and consist of four strands: one for P-12 administrative leadership; one for teacher leader; one for postsecondary leadership; and one for organizational leadership.

 

President Ransdell said he greatly appreciated the opportunity to share information and data with the committee members.† He said he was extremely proud of having been selected as president of Western Kentucky University and related that he attended Jefferson County Public Schools and Western is his alma mater.† He said his roots in Kentucky instill in him the passion and personal resolve to ensure ongoing success and accountability for WKU.† He said the governing board is also very focused on the transformation of Western to national prominence as evidenced by the many banners around campus that read, ďA Leading American University with International Reach.Ē† He said progress is being made even during difficult economic times with an ongoing effort to keep morale of faculty high without significant increases in salary.† President Randall thanked the committee for their continuing support and investment in higher education.

 

Representative Moberly asked if he understood correctly that WKU now has 30 majors completely available online.† President Ransdell said it is in the 28 to 30 range and that WKU has the largest number of online enrollments and number of students enrolled in an online context among the eight universities.† Representative Moberly asked if the online numbers are reflected in the total enrollment to which President Ransdell replied yes.† Representative Moberly asked how many students are just enrolled online and President Ransdell said it is in the 2,000 range and most of those are on the extended campuses.† Representative Moberly asked what incentives are provided to faculty to produce online courses.† President Ransdell said online courses are not inexpensive and that online enrollment tuition is approximately 20% higher than traditional courses and the additional revenue generated goes back into both the technology and to the faculty who deliver the courses.† He said online courses generally require a heavy workload by the faculty member because a student taking an online course typically has more interaction with their professors than they would in a traditional classroom format.†† President Ransdell said that personally he believes that the hallmark of the WKU experience will always be the human exchange of ideas and ideals and WKU will never become a predominantly online institution.† He said the main campus has 4,996 beds in the residential halls, but most students commute.† He said the extended campuses also offer excellent programs and online classes and every aspect is important in achieving ďDouble the NumbersĒ goals.† Representative Moberly asked if the enrollment at the extended campuses is continuing to rise.† President Ransdell said it is increasing, especially at the Elizabethtown campus, but not as rapidly as on the main campus.† He said enrollment at the Glasgow campus is at capacity because of insufficient facility space and he will be requesting funding for facilities at Glasgow.†

 

Speaker Richards asked about growth at the Owensboro campus.† President Ransdell responded that it is anticipated that Owensboro enrollment will increase to meet economic development needs in Daviess County, although data from the 2000-2005 census shows that Daviess County lost nearly 1,000 Baccalaureate and Graduate degree holders while several other counties grew dramatically in the same degree holders.† He said the census data has been one of the reasons the Daviess County government is investing in the community campus.

 

Representative Moberly asked if WKU has full-time faculty at the extension campuses.† President Ransdell said there are full time faculty, mostly in Glasgow and to a lesser extent in Owensboro and Elizabethtown.† Representative Moberly asked what WKUís program of distinction is.† President Ransdell replied it is the Applied Research and Technology Program in the life and physical sciences, although the School of Journalism and Broadcasting has been ranked number one in American Higher Education three times since 2000.† Representative Moberly asked if the second program had to be approved by CPE and President Ransdell responded that it did require approval.

 

Representative Moberly thanked President Ransdell and said that his record at WKU is extremely impressive.

 

††††††††††† Representative Collins asked Dr. Philip Rogers, Executive Director, Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), to discuss Regulation 16 KAR 3:050, Professional certificate for instructional leadership Ė school principal, all grades.† Dr. Rogers said that, in 2006, the General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 14, creating a task force that was co-chaired by the executive director of EPSB, the commissioner of education, and the president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.† He said the task force convened in August 2006 with 30 members and presented its findings in a report to EPSB in October 2007.† He said the findings were presented to the Interim Joint Committee on Education on November 5, 2007, and was translated into regulatory language by EPSB in January 2008.† He said the regulation essentially provides for the redesign of the principal preparation program with very clear regulatory language with the purpose of producing principals who have already demonstrated their leadership abilities in the classroom and prepares them to be leaders of leaders in their schools.† Representative Miller moved for approval of the regulation.† Representative Embry seconded the motion and the motion was approved by voice vote.

 

††††††††††† Representative Collins thanked President Ransdell, Dr. Roberts, Mr. Gott and Mr. Alderdice for excellent presentations and informative tours.

 

Representative Collins said the next meeting of the committee will be November 17th in Frankfort with subcommittees meeting at 10:00 AM and the full committee meeting at 1:00 PM.

 

††††††††††† There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 2:40 PM.††††††††††† †††