Kentucky high school seniors will soon be able to send electronic transcripts to state colleges and universities, as well as some out of state schools, using the free eTranscript process.
Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson made the announcement Tuesday.
“The statewide adoption of electronic transcripts will streamline the college admissions process, in some cases allowing students to complete the process totally online,” said Abramson. “The eTranscript system will be easy for our students to use, and it will reduce costs and save time for all parties.”
Jefferson County will be the first to make the system available districtwide. By the end of the year, Kentucky eTranscript should be available to students in public and private high schools across the state.
Students will also be able to upload documents such as letters of recommendation for paperless delivery.
WKU Public Radio's interview with Richard Trollinger, Vice President for College Relations at Centre College
When it comes to financial contributions, there are major gifts--and then there's what happened Tuesday at Centre College.
The private undergraduate school in Danville has announced the largest gift ever given to a liberal arts school in the U.S, and the largest donation ever given to a Kentucky college or university.
The A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust is giving Centre $250 million in stock to create the Brockman Scholars Program in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Forty scholarships will be awarded each year starting in the fall of 2014.
Brockman's son, Bob, attended Centre before finishing his degree at another school.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the donation ranks among the 20 largest gifts ever given to a U.S. college or university.
Brockman Scholars will pursue degrees in several science-related fields, such as behavioral neuroscience, biology, chemistry, computer science, math, and psychology.
WKU is preparing for the possibility that state funding for higher education could someday be based--in part--on retention rates. WKU Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Brian Meredith says it's an idea being tried in other parts of the nation.
"States across the country are doing that now, looking at funding models that are taking into account graduation rates, success rates, completion rates, and those sorts of things. We're not quite there yet in Kentucky, but that could be a possibility down the road, so we're trying to get ahead of the game."
Meredith says WKU has increased the academic requirements necessary to gain admission to the school, with the incoming freshman class possessing the highest ACT scores and grade point averages of any first-year class at WKU in ten years.
Meredith says it should be easier to retain and graduate students who come to WKU prepared to take on higher education coursework.
The WKU Board of Regents has approved a $37 million bond issue to fund a new international center and Honors College building, as well as the next phase of the ongoing renovation of the Downing University Center.
While the motion passed, three regents voted against the proposal.
Faculty Regent Patty Minter joined Student Regent Keyana Boka and Staff Regent James Kennedy in dissent. Dr. Minter says while she fully supports the WKU Honors College and the school's efforts to grow its international student population, she questions the need to issue bonds and build a brand new facility.
“There were a lot of better ideas that were not explored," said the WKU History Professor. "For example, having a floor in the replacement building for the Gordon Ford College of Business—what a great place that would be. And it would also integrate that group and the international student services into the entire student population, as opposed to segregating them out.”
A one-room schoolhouse in Owensboro has been added to a national database of schools built for black children in the early 20th century.
The schoolhouse is in Pioneer Village at Yellow Creek Park. It was one of 5,357 public schools, manual training shops and teacher cottages built in the South with grants from the Rosenwald Fund between 1912 and 1932.
A total of 158 of them were built in 41 Kentucky counties.
Fisk University in Nashville maintains a database of Rosenwald Schools around the country.
Friends of Pioneer Village Executive Director Sean Dysinger told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer the head of the project at Fisk thought the Owensboro school had been torn down, which is why it wasn't included on the list until now.
Ground will be broken Wednesday morning at the future site of the Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center. The effort is a collaboration between the school system and WKU, and will allow high school students in the Hardin County system to take classes during the academic year that will transform into college credit from WKU, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, or Sullivan University.
Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nannette Johnston says the Early College and Career Center is facing a strict construction deadline.
"I can sum it up in the one word: aggressive. Typically, we look at construction projects of this magnitude taking about 18 months. We want this project to be completed by August of 2014," Johnston told WKU Public Radio.
The Early College and Career Center will offer Hardin County students classes in fields such as engineering, manufacturing, automotive technology, media arts and communication, and culinary arts and hospitality services.
A ruling from the Kentucky Education Commission is expected in two weeks regarding how many students the Warren County school system will allow to attend Bowling Green city schools this school year.
A 2001 agreement between the districts set a cap on the number of transferring students. But last April, the county lowered that number by about 90 students. The state would not reimburse the Bowling Green district for students over that number, but they could still attend city schools at a cost of a little over $4,000 a year.
After a three day hearing on the matter wrapped up Saturday morning, Bowling Green school superintendent Joe Tinius told WKU Public Radio there is a slight financial aspect to the controversy but he sees it as a bigger issue, saying neither side would see a net profit from the final decision.
"That's not what education is all about," said Tinius. "This is more about an opportunity for parents to have a choice on where to send their children to school."
The last-minute nature of the county's decision is also causing city schools planning problems for hiring the right amount of staff for the coming school year. "We were already well into planning for the school year and had to back up and start all over again," Tinius said. "And now with a decision expected just a week before school starts, we have to be prepared for either scenario."
That means the policy will go into effect for all public school systems in the state within the next four years.
"It's an increased burden on the adults in the schools to not only make sure our students are engaged, but to ensure that they are learning and that we're meeting their needs," said Clayton, who came to Warren County after working in the Oldham County school system.
He told WKU Public Radio he thinks the increased dropout age will "raise the accountability level" for both students and educators, something he thinks will benefit all parties involved.