Action Plan

Better Lives for a Better Kentucky

In 2016, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) unveiled a strategic plan, The Future in Focus: KCTCS Strategic Plan 2016–2022, that established high-level goals and performance targets for the 16 KCTCS Colleges and the System Office. The Strategic Plan calls for KCTCS to focus on several core goals:

Raise the level of educational attainment in the Commonwealth by positioning KCTCS as the accessible, affordable, and relevant postsecondary education choice for Kentuckians

Increase access and success for all KCTCS students, particularly among traditionally underserved populations

Develop clear pathways through all levels of postsecondary education with an emphasis on experiential learning that lead to successful employment outcomes for KCTCS graduates

Improve student engagement, support, experiences, and success with best-in-class academics and student services

Align programs and curricula with needs of employers that enhance the employability, job placement, and career development of KCTCS graduates.

To support the plan, KCTCS created a series of two-year action plans that developed specific strategies to reach those goals. Each action plan identifies actionable strategies to benefit all Colleges and move the needle in a positive direction on strategic plan measures. The two-year planning cycle aligns with Kentucky’s state budget cycle and allows Colleges and the System Office to respond effectively to changing conditions.

In phase one of the six-year plan, the business plan, Move the Needle Forward (2016-2018), the KCTCS President’s Leadership Team (PLT) determined that the following strategies were most important:

  •  Establish a new financial aid centralized processing center utilizing specialized software.

  • Scale-up the co-requisite model, contextualized to students’ program of study, that streamlines time to degree.

  • Promote enrollment/participation in college success and impactful orientation experiences for first-time, credential-seeking students.

  • Leverage technology to fully develop and utilize degree audit/academic planning modules in the student information system.

  • Expand targeted outreach and support for underrepresented minority (URM) students and implement an evaluation process to measure program success.

The second phase of the six-year plan, the action plan for 2018-2020, Creating a Better Life, focused on:

  •  Expanding targeted outreach and support for adult learners to increase participation and success in postsecondary education.

  • Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of admissions and enrollment processes at KCTCS colleges.

  • Developing guided career pathways that include immersive orientation, intrusive advising, block scheduling, and meta-majors.

  • Leveraging financial aid processes and Starfish Retention Solutions capabilities to increase retention and completion.

  • Increasing the number of KCTCS students who complete career-oriented certificates in targeted industry sectors and dual credit students who earn credits in these programs.

For the final biennium, the Better Lives for a Better Kentucky Action Plan 2020-2022 focuses on a question important to the KCTCS President’s Leadership Team (PLT), “What Does Winning Look Like?” The responses to that question drive the System towards its end goal—a world-class statewide community and technical college system that produces a globally competitive workforce.  

What does winning look like?

Concepts from the sixteen (16) College Presidents note the following:

  • Focusing on enrollment growth, student persistence, and student success by affirming affordability, shortening time to degree, and scaling innovation.

  • Improving the sustainability of the System and Colleges through advocacy and the development of alternative revenue sources.

  • Increasing the prominence and visibility of KCTCS within the Commonwealth and across the nation, illustrating that the System and Colleges are relevant, responsive, and transformative to our stakeholders, particularly employers.

Each College deploys an institutional strategic plan and initiatives within the KCTCS 2016-2022 Strategic Plan and the 2020-2022 Action Plan. College priorities may focus on different areas of the Action Plan.

The Better Lives for a Better Kentucky Action Plan 2020-2022 moves forward the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan to its conclusion with these strategies and tactics:

Focus on enrollment growth, student persistence, and student success by affirming affordability, shortening time to degree, and scaling innovation.

Alignment with KCTCS 2016-22 Strategic Plan Goal:

  • Improve student engagement, support, experiences, and success with best-in-class academics and student services

Tactics:

  • Increase strategies for retention of all students, particularly working adult students through the GED Plus program and other innovative offerings.

  • Increase matriculation of dual credit students into Associate degree and other credential pathways after high school graduation.

  • Increase access to wrap-around student services, both in-person and virtually, to meet the needs of traditional, adult, and underrepresented students.

  • Reduce financial aid barriers and time to degree by ensuring faculty, staff, and students understand and follow program applicability guidelines.

  • Enhance the affordability of KCTCS tuition through increased awareness of the 15 to Finish, Dual Credit, Work Ready Dual Credit, and Work Ready Kentucky Scholarships, and develop additional state, college, and privately funded scholarships and grants.

Key Measures:

  • Retention rate of adult students

  • URM retention rate

  • Credentials awarded to former dual credit/dual enrollment students

  • Total number and amount of scholarships awarded

Build upon proven practices to increase access and success for all KCTCS students, with a focus on removing barriers for populations traditionally underserved by higher education.

Alignment with KCTCS 2016-22 Strategic Plan Goal:

  • Increase access and success for all KCTCS students, particularly among traditionally underserved populations

Tactics:

  • Increase access/enrollment by

    • identifying best practices to enroll adult students.

    • revising SEM Plans to focus on strategies for working adults.

  • Increase enrollment, retention and success of underserved populations by

    • completing a cultural audit and climate survey for the purpose of stronger diversity planning and assessment of implemented strategies.

    • increasing workforce diversity throughout KCTCS to support a more diverse student experience on campus.

  • Research and respond to the 2019 LRC report on non-academic barriers affecting student retention and success.

Key Measures:

  • Enrollment of targeted populations

  • Credentials awarded to targeted populations

  • CPE Workforce Diversity Metrics:
    • Full-time management staff – URM
    • Faculty full-time equivalency (FTE) – URM

 

Develop guided/career pathways that shorten time to degree and time to transfer/employment to include flexible programming, competency-based education, online education initiatives and credit for prior learning.

Alignment with KCTCS 2016-22 Strategic Plan Goal:

  • Develop clear pathways through all levels of postsecondary education with an emphasis on experiential learning that lead to successful employment outcomes for KCTCS graduates

Tactics:

  • Improve the quality of the student experience, efficiencies, and economies of scale in the online learning environment.

  • Institutionalize appropriate Guided Pathways effective practices, including use of meta-majors, degree pathways, and proactive (intrusive) advising to shorten time to degree and facilitate transfer to four-year institutions or employment.

  • Incentivize development of flexible educational programming and competency-based education models.

  • Develop and expand application of credit for prior learning.

Key Measures:

  • Average credit hours to degree completion

  • Meta-majors implemented/CBE models developed

  • Total transfers

Develop a center for excellence, the KCTCS Center for Work-Based Learning, to align programs, curricula, and student experiential/work-based learning opportunities to the Future of Work.

Alignment with KCTCS 2016-22 Strategic Plan Goal:

  • Align programs and curricula with needs of employers that enhance the employability, job placement, and career development of KCTCS graduates

Tactics:

  • Develop a center of excellence model for a KCTCS Center for Work-Based Learning.

  • Develop a systemwide definition for work-based learning.

  • Meet industry demand for effectiveness skills through the reimagining and promotion of general education coursework.

  • Develop additional FAME/TechX/SKYFlex and other flexible models for technical programs.

  • Increase apprenticeships with employers and serve as apprenticeship sponsor.

Key Measures:

  • Experiential learning for AAS/Diploma graduates

  • Licensure/certification pass rates

  • Number of apprenticeships and employer partnerships

Expand the recognition of KCTCS as the premier choice for postsecondary education in Kentucky through enhanced advocacy and marketing efforts and the development of faculty and staff to provide best-in-class academics and student services.

Alignment with KCTCS 2016-22 Strategic Plan Goal:

  • Raise the level of educational attainment in the Commonwealth by positioning KCTCS as the accessible, affordable, and relevant postsecondary education choice for Kentuckians

Tactics:

  • Advocate for and target marketing towards expanded recognition of the value and relevancy of KCTCS/community and technical college credentials.

  • Advocate for expanded recognition and prominence of KCTCS to increase state and external funding support.

  • Improve the sustainability of System and Colleges through engagement of internal and external stakeholders in philanthropy and advocacy.

  • Support KCTCS faculty and staff through employee development, retention, and compensation initiatives.

Key Measures:

  • Affordability – KCTCS net price as a percentage of the weighted net price of Kentucky public four-year colleges

  • Giving levels of internal and external stakeholders

Strategic Plan Measures & Targets

Cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who complete their program within 150% of normal time as reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Baseline: 25.7%

  • Target: 31.5%

  • Objective: Increase graduation rate by 1.0 percentage points each year.

KCTCS net price as a percentage of the weighted net price for students paying the in-state or indistrict tuition rate & receiving grant or scholarship aid at Kentucky public four-year colleges.

  • Baseline: 54.0%

  • Target: 50.0%

  • Objective: Achieve and maintain a net price equal to or less than half that of public four-year institutions.

Metric: 1st to 2nd Year retention – URM

Fall-to-fall retention rates of first-time, credential-seeking students by Underrepresented Minorities (URM) (American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Two or More Races).

  • Baseline: 39.4%

  • Target: 48.3%

  • Objective: Increase URM retention rate by 1.5 percentage points each year.

Metric: Graduation rate - URM

Cohort of full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students who complete their program within 150% of normal time as reported to IPEDS limited to Underrepresented Minorities.

  • Baseline: 14.3%

  • Target: 23.9%

  • Objective: Increase URM graduation rate by 1.4 percentage points each year.

Cohort of first-time diploma and AAS graduates who complete a practicum, apprenticeship, clinical, a co-op, an internship, work and learn program, or service learning prior to earning the credential. Students with AAS degrees who earned a diploma in an academic year prior to receiving their AAS are counted in both the academic year they obtained the diploma and the academic year they were awarded their AAS degree.

  • Baseline: 66.3%

  • Target: 72.3%

  • Objective: Increase number of students engaged in experiential learning by an average of 1.0 percentage points each year.

Percent of Associate earners in academic year who enrolled at a four-year institution that academic year after the term end date of the term the first Associate credential was earned or in the next academic year.

  • Baseline: 37.4%

  • Target: 43.4%

  • Objective: Increase transfers by an average of 1.0 percentage points each year.

Fall-to-fall retention rates of first-time, credential-seeking students as reported to IPEDS.

  • Baseline: 49.4%

  • Target: 55.4%

  • Objective: Increase retention by an average of 1.0 percentage points each year.

Average scores on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) benchmarks of effective educational practice.

  • Baseline:
    • Active Learning (47.2%)
    • Student Effort (50.6%)
    • Academic Challenge (49.1%)
    • Student / Faculty Interaction (52.3%)
    • Support for Learners (51.2%)

  • Target: 50.0%

  • Objective: Maintain CCSSE average benchmark scores at or above the national average.

The number of students in the Voluntary Framework of Accountability’s (VFA) Career and Technical Education (CTE) completer/leaver cohort who achieve a passing grade on their first attempt of a licensure exam within one year divided by the number of students in the CTE completer/leaver cohort who sat for the first time to take the licensure exam within one year

  • Baseline: 88.8%

  • Target: Exceed national average

  • Objective: Exceed national average for cohort pass rate.

Number of credit hours of workforce non-credit courses (clock hour conversion to credit hours).

  • Baseline: 13,153

  • Target: 15,030

  • Objective: Increase credit hours by 1% in the first year with 2.5% each year thereafter from a baseline of a three year average.