Thefirst meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, July 13, 2009, at 10:30 AM, in the Anne Hart Raymond Building, Auditorium, Midway College. Senator Charlie Borders, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Charlie Borders, Co-Chair; Representative Leslie Combs, Co-Chair; Senators Alice Forgy Kerr, Elizabeth Tori, Johnny Ray Turner, and Ken Winters; Representatives C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Tim Firkins, Reginald Meeks, Jody Richards, Tom Riner, Carl Rollins II, and Charles Siler.
Legislative Guest: Senator Tim Shaughnessy
LRC Staff: Ken Warlick, Audrey Carr, Laura Blaser, and Lisa Moore.
Chairman Borders welcomed and introduced Dr. Tony Newberry, President, Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), to the committee members. Dr. Newberry explained that he would present the unique issues, challenges, and opportunities available at JCTC. Dr. Newberry also provided the committee with a background of the Postsecondary Education Reform Act (House Bill 1 - 1997) mandates to the Kentucky Central and Technical College System (KCTCS).
Dr. Newberry noted in Kentucky, 41 percent of all students in a public college or university attend a KCTCS institution. Community colleges enroll 46 percent of all undergraduates in the country. He also said 14,412 students attend JCTC, which is the fourth largest institution of higher education in Kentucky. He explained in detail the typical JCTC student profile and the specific information is located in the meeting folder in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library.
Dr. Newberry explained that JCTC was a catalyst for economic development and workforce education. He noted that 83 percent, or 1.8 million jobs, in Kentucky between now and 2014 will require an Associate Degree, postsecondary vocational training, work experience and/or on-the-job training. JCTC has served 644 companies and 7,123 employees in the past year, and has provided $8 million in state training funds since 2002. He noted that 96 percent of KCTCS associate degree graduates stay and work in Kentucky.
Dr. Newberry said JCTC was highlighting three major issues in its plan for a competititive commonwealth initiative. They are: 1) implementing college readiness partnerships with local school districts; 2) providing on-campus retention and graduation incentives; and (3) establishing transfer partnerships with the universities.
Dr. Newberry discussed college and workforce readiness. He said there is a “pipeline leakage problem” in Kentucky’s educational system. He noted for every 100 Kentucky 9th graders: 65 graduate from high school; 37 enter college; 24 are still enrolled in sophomore year; and 12 graduate with a four-year degree in 6 years. He also said 81 percent of first time freshmen at JCTC test into at least one developmental course, with the highest percentage needing help in developmental math.
Dr. Newberry said the college response is to provide effective partnerships with secondary schools. This includes: strengthening the dual credit and school-to-college transition programs; developing a career pathways programs specific to the career themes at each Jefferson County high school; expanding career planning and college placement services; and sponsoring curriculum alignment discussions for high school and college faculty in mathematics and English. He noted Senate Bill 1 (2009) requirements will strengthen the above efforts.
Dr. Newberry discussed on-campus initiatives and the number of students that are transferring from JCTC to a university. There were 633 total JCTC transfers to Kentucky universities in 2007-2008; 384 of those students transferred to the University of Louisville. There is a new goal to increase annual transfers from 646 to 2,000 by 2020.
Dr. Newberry discussed the opportunities and challenges of a campus located in an urban setting. He also talked about the pros and cons of tight budgets in times of growth. Dr. Newberry thanked the members and said he was available to answer questions.
Senator Borders commended former Governor’s Patton vision and the implementation of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Reform Act. He asked whether there has been an improvement in the successful transfer of credits to four-year colleges.
Dr. Newberry said the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) has provided positive direction relating to student transfer issues. He noted Dr. Jim Ramsey, President, University of Louisville, has been very supportive of JCTC efforts to transition students from the community college to the university. He said that remediation and the selection of students being accepted into programs play a significant role in retention and graduation of students.
Representative Rollins raised a concern about the number of students who are requiring developmental courses. Dr. Newberry discussed the importance of providing an adult education program on campus.
Representative Rollins said it is disappointing that there has been a loss of transferable general education courses due to the revenue shortfall. He also discussed a presentation he had heard at the 2009 Education Commission of the States meeting that indicated that although algebra is not a prerequisite for successful performance in many professions, it is often an obstacle that places many students in developmental courses. Dr. Newberry agreed.
Representative Meeks discussed the employment picture in the Commonwealth. He asked whether jobs exist for Kentucky college graduates after completing their degrees. He also expressed concern about the credit transferability issue.
Representative Richards discussed Senate Bill 1 and college readiness/retention of students. He said lack of funding from the General Assembly has created challenges for the schools and universities. He also discussed the adequacy of facilities on college campuses.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.