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Today’s Interview: CPE President Aaron Thompson discusses postgraduate degrees awarded in 2021-22 school year

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

The Council on Postsecondary Education has released a report that details degrees awarded in the 2021-22 school year. The data shows that total degrees and credentials grew slightly. Bachelor degrees were down 1.1% graduate degrees jumped up nearly 10%.

Since 2016-17, all credentials have risen more than 16%.

Aaron Thompson is the President of the CPE. He said these numbers are good, especially considering enrollment has not experienced the same gains.

“We’ve only had a .6 percent enrollment increase over the last five years. And that is obviously problematic, with only 47.8 percent of our highs school students graduating from high school going on to college,” said Thompson.

Thompson said he would like to see that number increase by 15% over the next five years.

Regarding the number of graduate degrees, Thompson said he can see the upward trend continuing.

“Over the last year we grew by 9.7% then 62% over the last five years. That’s significant, right? A lot more people are getting masters degrees, PhDs, other forms of doctorates and my guess is that we’ll continue to see that grow as we really work on our teacher shortage,” said Thompson.

However, Thompson added that the number of baccalaureate, two-year, and other accreditations needs to increase if the state is going to reach its postsecondary goals.

The number of degrees and credentials awarded is a factor the legislature uses to determine where funding is allocated.

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Samantha was a reporter and All Things Considered Host from 2019 to 2023. Sam is also a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station.
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