In Kentucky, undergraduate workforce certificate awards have skyrocketed

workforce-certificatesKentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget for higher education puts a strong emphasis on improving the number of students prepared to join Kentucky’s workforce.

But Kentucky may already be on the case, according to a new report issued by the Council on Postsecondary Education.

The Kentucky Completion report shows a 159 percent increase in undergraduate workforce certificates awarded between 2003 and 2013, an increase of 12,000 certificates, the report found. Overall, the number of degrees, credentials and certificates awarded grew by 59 percent in the same decade, ranking Kentucky eighth in the nation for growth.

“Clearly, this report confirms that Kentucky has a very positive story to tell,” said CPE President Bob King. “Our campuses have made remarkable progress in ramping up degree production and more closely aligning degrees and credentials to workforce needs.”

Most certificates — which are awarded for completing shorter, highly specialized training courses — come from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which offers workforce certificates and two-year associate degrees. The report found that the number of associate degrees awarded in Kentucky increased 52 percent, while bachelor’s degrees rose 24 percent.

Next page: How a proposal would help boost workforce development courses

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