UK Has Joined the Kentucky College & Career Outreach Coalition

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) together with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) have started up a College and Career Outreach Coalition that includes representatives from educational advocates in both the public and private sectors. The main goal of the Coalition is to foster collaboration among outreach practitioners interested in promoting college and career readiness as well as to partner in future promotion work and expand those efforts statewide.

Mildred Bailey

Mildred Bailey at Outreach Planning Meeting, April 2014, facilitated by Dr. Christopher Rice, UK CELT

The University of Kentucky has two representatives in the Coalition:

  • the Office of Institutional Diversity’s college prep program funded by the CPE – the Governor’s Minority Scholars College Preparation Program (represented by Mildred Bailey); and,
  • the Division of Undergraduate Education (represented by Randolph Hollingsworth, Assistant Provost)

Ms. Bailey is also a member-at-large of the inaugural Coordinating Board for the Coalition.

The strategic vision of the Coalition is a statewide culture where Kentuckians seeking educational opportunities at all levels have access to the information and resources they need to prepare for and succeed in the college or career of their choice.

There are three primary audiences that the Coalition will focus on as we work together to emphasize the many pathways to access college and career options in Kentucky.

  • Middle and high school students and families, especially those from under-represented communities
  • Adults with a high school diploma or less
  • First-generation and low-income students and their families

Outreach is where policy meets peopleThis is primarily an effort to help reduce duplicate efforts, increase awareness of available support resources and provide more consistency in college and career readiness messages. The Coalition will also reach out to share information and communication strategies with Kentucky employers and business owners, K-12 educators and higher education administrators, as well as policy makers and legislators.

During its initial meetings, the founding organizations of the Coalition determined that we should focus on four themes in college and career outreach in Kentucky:

  1. Value – because college going has remained relatively flat; that 89% of Kentucky’s 2013 ACT-tested graduating class aspired to postsecondary education, but only 55% actually enrolled; and, the value of education after high school remains an ongoing issue of public debate
  2. Affordability – because 18.6% of Kentuckians live in poverty and the median household income is $42,610; 48% of KY’s college-going population is eligible for free/reduced price lunch at public schools; and, even though 274,130 Kentucky high school students completed the FAFSA last year, 107,552 low-income students did not receive grants (an increase of 37% in non-recipients since 2009-10)
  3. Readiness – because 17.6% of Kentuckians have less than a high school diploma or GED; 34% of high school graduates did not pursue postsecondary education; and, gaps in college readiness and college success between white students and underrepresented minority students have remained unchanged
  4. Completion – because statewide, nearly 50% of students who enter college ready to complete a degree within six years but this is compared to readiness rates of 37% for low-income students, 28% of students who score below KY benchmarks for ACT/SAT tests, and 33% of minority students.
Source: “The Making of the Kentucky College and Career Outreach Coalition” presentation, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, 25 February 2015
Coalition Charter Members
55,000 Degrees
Advance KY
Bluegrass State Skills Corp
Bluegrass Higher Ed Consortium
Center for Rural Devt
Family Res & Youth Svcs Ctrs
GRREC – Race to the Top
KY Adult Education
KY Campus Compact
KY Chamber of Commerce
KY  Dept of Workforce Investment
KY Latino Ed Alliance
KY Work Ready Communities
Partners in Ed, Berea College
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
UK Undergraduate Ed

The Coalition will be working together for the next several years on developing or implementing targeted outreach campaigns with ready-made toolkits and resources such as the “Take the L.E.A.D. Program” (Local Education Advocate Diploma). This training program for Kentucky parents and education advocates is offered through the GEAR UP Kentucky Program, a federal grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the CPE.  Beginning April 2015, “Take the L.E.A.D.” will be made available to any Kentucky parent for free. Visit for more information.

The Coalition members will also collaborate to support or host local gatherings with students and families to help expand access to college and career information resources, especially among traditionally underserved populations. Finally, we hope to expand the professional development and technical assistance opportunities for outreach professionals at all levels in order to enhance research-based practices.

This may be a real indicator of success by the Coalition – when all of us here at the University of Kentucky get to participate in our communities’ work to develop new policies and implement good practices in improving all Kentuckians’ college and career readiness.

Posted in College/Career Readiness, Diversity, First Generation, Open Educational Resources, Orientation, Student Success | Tagged | Leave a comment

More on Graduation Rates in Kentucky and at UK

From Dr. Ben Wither’s UGE Weekly Notes:

Last week’s update (Graduation Rates – Thoughts on the Use of Big Data, UK’s Recent Improvement and Impact on the Commonwealth, 24 February 2015) focused on several readings covering graduation rates and degree attainment. There are several different databases available which may help understand these different, though related measures of institutional effectiveness and higher education policy. The take-away from those readings is that while UK has made progress in the last few years (reaching all-time highs in the number of degrees awarded and graduation rate percentages) the Commonwealth of Kentucky still has ways to go before it reaches national averages in degree attainment.

Valerie Strauss

Valerie Strauss

Another perspective on the challenges we face as a campus and in the state can be found in an interesting article published last year in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss (higher education reporter and blogger for the Post). This contribution explores the link between graduation rates, size of the campus endowment, and the number of low income students an institution serves. She cites a study from the  US Department of Education’s Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid (“Measure Twice: The Impact on Graduation Rate of Serving Pell Grant Recipients”) that identifies the “largest factor impacting graduation rates … is the proportion of Pell Grant recipients on the campus.”

Strauss argues that “the graduation rate is clearly an index of admissions risk — universities with the highest graduation rates are those that have huge applicant pools and so they can take only very few of their applicants, and those students are almost all academically very capable and financially stable if not wealthy.” She’s highly critical of the concept of “undermatching… a theory that ‘high-achieving low income’ students should choose only elite or “competitive” colleges and universities instead of the often-local institutions that serve low-income students in large numbers.” She concludes that “Colleges that enroll large numbers of low income students take huge risks, believing as a matter of mission and social justice that we can make a difference in their lives. We know that these students progress through school in very different ways from more traditional students. We do not consider these students a failure if they do not complete degrees on a traditional timetable.”

For the last three years UK an average of just over 24% of our undergraduate students are Pell-eligible (according to HANA/Tableau Demographic workbooks available to me.) Given the number of low-income students as well as middle-income students with high financial need on campus, we will need to look more closely at these challenges, and perhaps — as Patricia McGuire argued in Diverse Issues in Higher Education — develop some new measures of student success, as we seek to improve graduation rates and reach the state’s educational attainment goals.

Benjamin C. Withers, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
University of Kentucky
(859) 257-3027

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Graduation Rates – Thoughts on the Use of Big Data, UK’s Recent Improvement and Impact on the Commonwealth

From Dr. Ben Withers’ UGE Weekly Update:

Thumbnail of CHE chart of graduation rates by state 2015This week’s Chronicle of Higher Education published an interactive state-by-state breakdown of six-year graduation rates.  The bar chart summarizes the results of a report Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Attainment Rates on the rates by which Kentucky’s students graduated from their “starting institution,” from another institution or had graduated also from a 2-year institution. By tracking students who completed their college degree in another institution (even in another state) added substantially to the overall completion rates.

This report used information gathered by the National Student Clearing House (NCH):  an independent non-profit group that assists higher education institutions and the student loan industry. It collects enrollment and degree attainment data that is made available to participating institutions (but not usually to the general public).  The Chronicle chart provides an interesting glimpse at this information, covering three years of data for four-year public colleges, from 2013 through 2015. You can sort data by several demographic and enrollment categories, including gender, age, and full- or part-time status. Looking at all student types, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has made gains in the overall percentage of students who have graduated (improving from 54.7% in 2013 to 57.9% in the 2015 data) and in the percentage of students graduation from the institution of their initial enrollment (42.2% in 2013 to 44.7%). However, in both areas our state is still below national averages.

UK has contributed to the progress that the state has made in this key area of graduation rates as well as educational attainment. Over the last five years, UK’s four-year graduation rate has increased from 30.8% (2006 cohort) to 38.1% (2010 cohort). Six-year graduation rates have also improved to reach all-time highs of 60.4% (2007 cohort) and 60.1% (2008). These higher percentages, combined with the increased size of first-ear cohorts, mean that each year UK sets records each year for the total number of undergraduates receiving degrees and certificates. The latest data on the UK Institutional Research website shows this steady increase, as we surpassed the 4000 mark for degrees awarded in 2013. That increase is good for the Commonwealth, adding to our efforts in improving college attainment, though the latest figures from the CPE shows that Kentucky still lags behind the national average in terms of the percentage of our population over 25 with a bachelor’s degree (which is not surprising given the NCH data, above).

Cover of College Graduation Rates report by ACEEducational attainment is an important policy goal at the state and federal level; graduation rates are one measure of institutional effectiveness that shows how campuses may be helping reach that goal. However, educational attainment and graduation rates are not the same thing. The American Council on Education (ACE) has produced a very useful overview that explains the difference while focusing on the  different ways graduation rates can be measured in College Graduation Rates: Behind the Numbers. Published in 2010, the report explains that graduation rates are a relatively new way of measuring institutional effectiveness.

When I discussed UK’s graduation rates in the paragraph above, I was using figures calculated according the Graduation Rate Survey (GRS) that is part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). IPEDS is a set of federally mandated surveys collected by the US Department of Education (DoE). In addition to the GRS, DoE also produces the Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Survey. Other sources of information are the National Clearing House (see above) and agencies in the several states. Behind the Numbers explains clearly and concisely what the advantages and disadvantages of each survey are.

For example, the GRS focuses on full-time, first-year cohort enrollment. This gives a good sense of how institutions are performing annually, allowing  for institutional comparisons as well as the ability to look at institutional performance by student characteristics of race and gender. Disadvantages are that because it is based only on first-year, first-time students and is institution-focused, a GRS-based graduation rate accounts for only 52% of college enrollment nationwide (missing part-time, returning, and most students who transfer from one baccalaureate degree campus to another).

GRS also does not allow analysts to disaggregate by income and, as we know, family income and unmet student need are ever important factors in student success. NCH data is more inclusive, capturing 93% of students whether they are part-time, full-time, transfer, or returning. Disadvantages are that NCH is a voluntary reporting system (unlike the federal GRS), is not usually publicly available, and has limited demographic information.

As our campus discussion of graduation rates continues, I encourage you to look at the Behind the Numbers report to better understand the options for information available to us.

Benjamin C. Withers, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
University of Kentucky
(859) 257-3027

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Transformative Learning at the University of Kentucky – a New Group in the Division of Undergraduate Education

Deanna Sellnow

Dr. Deanna Sellnow, Assistant Provost for Transformative Learning

As part of the reorganization of the Division of Undergraduate Education, Transformative Learning has emerged under the leadership of Dr. Deanna Sellnow, Assistant Provost. Transformative Learning enhances through intentional collaborations with UK’s undergraduate colleges, student support units and community members the best in existing units and has developed new initiatives as well. They serve both faculty (professional development and consultations) and students (individual and group tutoring, workshops) — including Academic Enhancement, Presentation U!, and the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) program.Transformative Learning - The Study, PresentationU, Certificate for Non-Profit Professionals

Academic Enhancement

Students don’t need an appointment to attend peer tutoring sessions at The Study (see more at their Peer Tutoring website). And all the academic advisors know of and rely on the services they offer to support student success, including placement testing and two of the courses in the UK Academic Preparation Program.

Another proven success for UK students is the Study Smarter Seminar. Students are invited to register and attend the Study Smarter Seminar on Tuesday, February 10 at 5 pm in the W.T. Young Library. This seminar teaches students to study smarter, not harder. The seminar includes tips to improve: note taking, critical reading, goal setting, self-testing strategies, test-taking anxiety and time management — as well as how to incorporate technology into studying to make life easier! For $40, students will receive three hours of instruction in a small, informal classroom setting and all course materials, including “The Skinny On College Student Success” textbook, which students may keep and use as a resource throughout their college career.

The Study logoAlso, on Tuesday, February 10, La mesa del español begins! The Study North will be offering tutoring support from Individual Academic Consultants from the Spanish Department for students enrolled in Spanish classes on Tuesdays from 5:00-6:00pm. The Study North is on the first floor of Champions Court I (the residence hall directly across from the bookstore in the Student Center, between Lexington and Martin Luther King, Jr. streets).

Visit for a complete overview of all the FREE tutoring services available for students, now at both The Commons (on the third floor of the Complex Commons building in the Blanding-Kirwan Complex) and Champions Court I.

PresentationU logoPresentation U!

The semester is in full-swing with paper and presentation deadlines quickly approaching. Students can drop-in or schedule a FREE peer tutoring session at Presentation U! in the basement of the W.T. Young Library. Our peer tutors can assist with all multimodal communication projects including written (papers & outlines), oral (speeches & presentations), and visual (powerpoint, prezis, e-portfolios, etc.) assignments. Students should plan to attend the Power Hour this week, offered at two different times and locations for their convenience. On Tuesday, February 10th “Say What???: Developing and Organizing an Effective Speech” will be held from 6-7 pm @ The Hub – W.T. Young Library and on Wednesday, February 11th at Champions Court I from 3-4 pm.

Learn more about Presentation U! at www.uky/edu/Presentationu.

Certified NonProfit Professional logoSocial Enterprise & Innovation/Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) certificate program

Students interested in nonprofit work or eager to develop the leadership skills sought after by all employers need to learn about becoming a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). The Social Enterprise & Innovation/Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) certificate program is a co-curricular professional certificate program that complements majors and minors and equips students with professional skills, networking, and internship experiences to succeed as leaders upon graduation.

Applications are currently being accepted for the fall 2015. Learn more and apply at


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Katherine McCormick on UK’s Community Engagement Classification – an interview with Carl Nathe on “UK at the Half”

UK @ the Half

Click on the image above to download the .mp3 file of the interview with Dr. McCormick

Did you hear the UK@TheHalf segment on Saturday, January 31st – during the University of Alabama at UK game? It featured Dr. Katherine McCormick, Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling in the College of Education. Dr. McCormick is also the Stuckert Endowed Professor for Service Learning and is now spending nearly a third of her time here in the Division of Undergraduate Education’s Academy for Undergraduate Excellence to promote the best pedagogies and research strategies in service learning at UK.

Dr. Katherine McCormick

Dr. Katherine McCormick

The interview is part of the University’s celebration of our re-classification with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as one of the elite group of institutions in the nation who qualified for the Community Engagement classification. The Carnegie Foundation’s definition of community engagement can be found on their website here. The University of Kentucky first was classified in 2006 and 2008 by the Carnegie Foundation for  exemplary work in Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships. See more on this at UKnow (8 January 2015) and in past UGE Bluegrass Blade posts, here and here.

Here’s the transcript of the interview (courtesy of UKnow, 4 February 2015) below. Thank you and congratulations, Dr. McCormick!

“UK @ the Half” Host, Carl Nathe: The University of Kentucky has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive the 2015 community engagement classification.
Dr. Katherine McCormick: The idea is that your learning is enriched, is more powerful and more meaningful to our students if they can apply it. And to apply it to a community identified need is a terribly powerful learning experience.
Nathe: That’s Katherine McCormick, a professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. McCormick chaired a campus wide committee in a year-long effort to earn the classification, which is valid for 10 years, until 2025.
McCormick: Students who engage in work that’s meaningful — that’s impactful — learn better, are retained longer and are more successful. They’re not just successful in their academic careers but when they leave UK, they are better citizens. They are more likely to be active in Chamber of Commerce, they’re more likely to be active in a nonprofit, either as a volunteer or as an organizer. This idea of giving back to a community is a long term, a lifelong benefit.
Nathe: In awarding UK its community engagement classification, the Carnegie Foundation noted the University’s excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.
McCormick: When commissions are put together, when their efforts initiatives that are between a university or an institution of higher education and a local or national problem, these will be the colleges and universities that are called on to meet that.
Nathe: From UK’s 18 colleges and professional schools, to the initiatives lead by its students and from the faculty and staff’s creative interventions to UK’s efforts in supporting schools, community organizations, and regional work force programs, it is clear that UK and the people of the commonwealth are vitally linked.
McCormick: Students today are interested in other people. We know that when you do this kind of work that students grow in their discipline, they grow as people and they grow as citizens. And that’s I think is one of those larger missions of a university. That’s the part that I think is exciting.
Nathe: Earning 2015 Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation, the University of Kentucky is continuing to demonstrate its enduring commitment of values birthed in its land grant heritage. Seeing blue, I’m Carl Nathe with UK at the Half.
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State Funding, Tuition and Costs for Higher Education

From Dr. Ben Wither’s UGE Weekly Notes Reading for the Week:

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, “The earnings gap between young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher and those without has never been greater in the modern era, despite soaring student debt and high youth unemployment. In 1979, when the first wave of Baby Boomers were the same age that Millennials are today, the typical high school graduate earned about three-quarters (77%) of what a college graduate made. Today, Millennials with only a high school diploma earn 62% of what the typical college graduate earns.”

However, as a recent article in the Washington Post demonstrates, the benefits of higher education are increasingly borne by students and their families following the economic downturn of 2008: “The recession taught legislators that families will bear the cost of higher tuition, so that sent a signal to the state that it is possible to transfer the buck,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of education policy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Now there is little incentive to reinvest.”

Slide 5 of Senate Report showing State Support for UK over time

Slide 5 from UK Senate Report, March 2014

The Post article includes a link to a study released by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that shows that state funding for higher education per student (adjusted for inflation) has declined in across the country. Only two states—Alaska and North Dakota—are spending more now per student than before the recession. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is spending 25.4% less per student in 2014 than it did in 2008.

Slide 6 from UK Senate Report, March 2014

Slide 6 from UK Senate Report, March 2014

Last March, President Capilouto presented a report to the University Senate outlining how the reductions in state appropriation have impacted the University (see slides 5-7 in particular). The shift in total public fund revenue sources is clear: in 2004-05 gross tuition and fee revenue from the state made up only a little more than a third of UK’s operating budget. In 2013, UK depended on tuition and fees for over half the revenue for its operating budget (56%).

Slide 7 from UK Senate Report, March 2014

Slide 7 from UK Senate Report, March 2014

This drop in state appropriations is most vividly depicted in slide 5 (click on the thumbnail image above to enlarge for viewing) of the President’s report in March 2014.

An analysis of the average impact on UK students for out-of-pocket spending on tuition and mandatory fees as well as an analysis by income quartile can be found here.

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Associate Provost Ben Withers reflects on links between class attendance and retention

This just in from Dr. Ben Withers’ UGE Weekly Update‘s Reading for the Week:

Dr. Ken Troske, Professor and Associate Dean in the Gatton College of Business, shared “Cracking Down on Skipping Class” that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal. As the article relates, faced with increased pressure to improve retention and graduation rates some universities have put in place, or are testing, ways to monitor student classroom attendance. Some are using student ID cards (active card swipes or embedded chips) or electronic devices to track students. This in turn collects data that campus can use to develop “retention alert systems” that monitor and warn students (and their parents) about certain behaviors that threaten the return on the tuition they’ve invested in their college education.

The article cites Marcus Crede, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University who is identified as a researcher in this area, “attendance is the best known predictor of college grades, even more so than scores on standardized admissions tests.” Here at UK we don’t widely track student attendance (because there is no mandatory policy that requires instructors to take attendance). Nonetheless, we know that student absences/habitual tardiness accounts for approximately one-third of academic early alerts submitted over the last few semesters (click here for Fall 2013 numbers; Fall 2014 statistics have been shared with the Campus Retention Advisory Committee and with Associate Deans).

As the article notes, “while mandatory attendance has long been a staple in high schools… At most four-year colleges, attendance policy has been left to the professors’ discretion.” Although apparently there was some discussion in 2009 about a “mandatory attendance taking policy”, our current campus policy in the Senate Rules (SR gives broad leeway for each instructor to determine what is an excused absence and consequences, such as a reduction in grading. Fortunately, David Royse provides an excellent analysis of what makes for a good classroom absence policy in his presentation to new instructors for the UK Graduate School TA Orientation (download his slides in a .pdf file here). Departments may have their own policies that faculty are to follow (the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies — WRD — has one of the few I can find in a search of the UK website).

If attendance is a driver in student success, it would seem that policy and practice at universities may need to change. Because attendance policies are written into the Senate Rules (and hence into the Student Code) it will take an act of the University Senate to change what we do.

Policy aside, as the Wall Street Journal notes, there are several other issues we would want to address. These include logistics and date mining, student privacy, and our different expectations of students. How we act will depend, in part, on how we react to the observation found in the last paragraph of the WSJ journal article: “University of Arkansas began experimenting with mandatory attendance as a way to boost its 62% six-year graduation rate, said Provost Sharon Gaber. ‘We talk about helicopter parents,’ she said. ‘Well, some of these kids haven’t learned how to get out of bed on their own yet.’” Perhaps programmable wake-up calls (as suggested by SVP Vince Kellen, see p. 30 of this report) might be an approach to improving retention.

Benjamin C. Withers, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
University of Kentucky

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National Student Exchange at the University of Kentucky offers a great pathway to student success

From Dr. Tourgeé Simpson, National Student Exchange Coordinator in Undergraduate Studies

Recruitment for National Student Exchange (NSE) is underway! UK students can  study for up to one calendar year at another NSE member college or university — there are more than 200 of them to choose from. This is an opportunity for UK students to

  • Broaden personal and educational perspectives
  • Explore and appreciate new cultures
  • Take courses not offered at UK
  • Learn from different professors
  • Access courses with different perspectives
  • Explore new areas of study
  • Experience personal growth
  • Live in a different area
  • Investigate graduate or professional schools
  • Look for future employment opportunities
  • Become more independent and resourceful

Download a brochure here.

Remember that seniors are not prohibited from participating in National Student Exchange (NSE) and Education Abroad activities during their final year at UK. See Residence Requirements outlined in the Bulletin below:

Residence – a requirement for a degree which specifies the minimum period during which a student must be registered on the main campus – is intended to provide an adequate contact with the University and its faculty for each student who is awarded a degree. For an undergraduate degree, (a) at least 25 percent of the credits presented for a degree; (b) not less than 30 credit hours; and (c) a minimum of 30 of the last 36 credits presented for the degree must be taken from the University. Any request for waiver by veterans of any of the above requirements, or a request by other students for a waiver of requirement (b) or (c), must be presented for approval to the dean of the student’s college. Students who wish to satisfy the above requirement with credit earned through such methods as independent study by correspondence, special examination, CLEP, and other methods which limit the opportunity for active exchange between students and instructors must have the prior approval of their department chair and college dean. Courses taken through the UK International Center and through the National Exchange Student programs are considered as courses taken at UK for purposes of both the residence requirement and for graduates to be conferred commencement honors at the time of award of their degrees.” (p. 88, 2014-2015 UK Bulletin)

Please make sure to tell your senior and rising seniors (juniors) that these enrichment programs are accessible and truly enhance their success, academic achievement, and career readiness. For additional information related to NSE, please have your student(s) contact me via email at or attend an upcoming information session.

Spring 2015 NSE Information Sessions in RM 102 Miller Hall

January Wednesday, January 14, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 12:00pmThursday, January 15, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 12:30pm

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 – Miller Hall @12:00pm

Friday, January 23, 2015 – Miller Hall @12:00pm

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 1:00pm

February Tuesday, February 3, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 12:00pmThursday, February 12, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 12:30pm

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 – Miller Hall @12:00pm

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 1:00pm

April Thursday, April 2, 2015 – Miller Hall @12:30pmTuesday, April 7, 2015 – Miller Hall @ 12:00pm

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – Miller Hall @3:00pm

Best regards,

Tourgeé D. Simpson, Jr., Ph.D.
NSE Coordinator & Academic Advisor
Undergraduate Studies

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K2 Events to Kick Off Spring 2015 at the University of Kentucky

This just in from Annie Kelly in the Office of New Student & Parent Programs, Division of Student Affairs:

The Office of New Student and Parent Programs is pleased to announce that the K2 Schedule of Events is now available on our website! For the complete schedule, please visit

K2 Contributors from Colleges
and Student Support Units

College of Arts & Sciences
College of Fine Arts
Gatton College Undergraduate Resource Center
Office of Student Involvement, Student Affairs
Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Office of Institutional Diversity
Office of Academic Enhancement, Division of Undergraduate Education
Stuckert Career Center, Division of Undergraduate Education
Undergraduate Studies, Division of Undergraduate Education
UK International Center
UK Libraries

K2 will include a structured Spring Orientation, an event we call “K2 Kick-off,” for new first-year and transfer students on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 and then will continue with events, workshops, open houses, seminars, and activities for all new and returning students from Wednesday, January 14 through Saturday, January 31, 2015. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the participating staff, faculty, and students who submitted these K2 events!

Please feel free to disperse this message to current and future students and UK colleagues. We look forward to working together to greet new students and welcome back returning students to campus. Thanks again for your commitment to K2, and have a wonderful winter break!

Best wishes,
Lauren Goodpaster, Annie Kelly, Nancy Stephens, and Christie Baughman
Office of New Student and Parent Programs

Annie Kelly
Assistant Director of New Student & Parent Programs
Division of Student Affairs
University of Kentucky
518 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027

Phone: (859) 257-6597
Fax: (859) 323-1525

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Credit for prior learning – what impact do AP or IB scores have on UK student success in their majors? on UK graduation rates?

From UGE Weekly Updates by Dr. Benjamin C. Withers, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education:

As a member of the College Board’s AP Higher Education Advisory Committee, I receive periodic communication from members of the College Board staff. Last week Camilla Crump, the College Board’s Director of Higher Education Strategy and Outreach, shared an interesting article in Education Week about the variance of credit policies for AP tests at universities.

Camilla summarized several key points from the article:

  • Compared to their non-AP student counterparts, college students with AP Credits do not generally graduate sooner than four years
  • Students with AP credits tend to remain in school for the full four (or four-plus) years to enhance their educational experiences by choosing to double-major, add a minor, or have the flexibility to study abroad
  • The cost savings benefit of AP credits for students appears in the form of completing their degrees in four years instead of in four and a half years or longer.  AP students don’t, generally speaking, graduate earlier than four years.
  • There is a tension between students’ desire for a uniform and portable standard for institutional credit policy and with institutions that value the AP/IB/dual enrollment standards with varying independence.

Compared to some other universities UK has rather generous and clearly stated policies. However, as Assistant Provost Randolph Hollingsworth has pointed out to me, we do not have clear evidence for how these policies impact students in major pathways at UK. The intention behind Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) is to get students who arrive at universities off to a faster start by placing them at a higher level of college work. Is there a way UK could attract more high performing students if we could show them that we can move more quickly and assuredly than other universities to help them reach individual goals? As the article above states, many students want to graduate in four years, but with a double or triple-major; could more students start graduate work (through the UK University Scholars Program, for example) if we can calibrate AP/IB credit with program requirements in the right way?

Understanding the options and evidence might help department-level faculty understand the potential impact of their decisions when they equate AP/IB scores to particular courses and it could help advisors when they work with students who are in the position to take advantage of their exemplary preparation for college.

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