A for-profit college targeted by Kentucky’s Attorney General says it will close its Louisville operations, and is seeking to transfer its students.
The announcement is the latest bad news for Owensboro-based Daymar Colleges Group.
The Courier-Journal reports Daymar has submitted a closure plan to its accrediting body that would lead to the shuttering of its classrooms, and transfer most of its 89 Louisville-area students to other schools, or Daymar’s online program.
Daymar runs more than a dozen campuses in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio, with around 2,000 students. Daymar has recently closed operations in Scottsville and the western Kentucky town of Clinton, and has sold--or is trying to sell--buildings in Owensboro and Louisville.
Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education and university presidents are working to craft proposed changes to the state’s higher education funding formula.
The CPE and school leaders can’t change the funding formula on their own. Such a move would have to be approved by state lawmakers. But university and CPE leaders meet on a monthly basis, and a major topic of discussion recently has been a proposal to include “performance funding.”
Such a plan could potentially reward schools based on factors such as enrollment levels, graduation rates, or efforts in closing achievement gaps. Any effort at instituting performance funding, however, is likely contingent on lawmakers increasing the overall amount of higher education funding.
The Courier-Journal reports University of Louisville President James Ramsey sent a letter to the CPE last month saying he would only support performance-based funding if it came with new money.
Centre College in Danville is unveiling a new scholarship program endowed by the largest single gift ever given to the school.
J. David and Marlene Grissom of Louisville have agreed to fund a four-year, full tuition scholarship that will go to ten first-generation college students each year beginning in the fall of 2015. J. David Grissom is a Centre graduate who served as chairman of the school’s board of trustees for two decades.
The total amount of the gift isn’t being made public, but Centre officials say it’s the largest ever received in the Danville school’s 195 year history.
Centre’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Bob Nesmith, says the school is already recruiting the first class of Grissom Scholars.
Melissa Rudloff, with WKU's SKyTeach program, talks about the Girls in Science Day event.
WKU wants to convince more middle and high school girls to pursue classes in the STEM fields. More than 200 area girls in grades 5-12 will be on campus Saturday, Sept. 6, for the Girls in Science Day event.
The effort will focus on helping girls explore fields of study in science, technology, engineering, and math. Program coordinator Melissa Rudloff says many girls who initially excel in science-related classes take fewer of those courses as they get older.
“Research tells us that going back to elementary and middle school, many of those girls who may have entered those professions definitely had interest and ability in those fields. But somewhere along the way they become channeled in different directions. And many may do that themselves, or maybe it’s through the lack of experiences they have,” said Rudloff, who is the Professional-In-Residence at WKU’s SKyTeach program, which instructs future middle and high school math and science teachers.
One of the events at the Girls in Science Day gathering will be a talk led by Cheryl Stevens, Dean of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering. Rudloff believes it’s extremely important for girls to meet women who have succeeded in science-related fields.
The Commonwealth is seeing gains and losses in its race to reach top tier national status in key areas of education. In 2008, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence challenged the state to reach the top 20 by the year 2020.
The committee Wednesday released an update on the state's progress. According to the report, Kentucky is on track to meet the goal in areas like fourth and eighth grade reading, teacher salaries, and Advanced Placement credits. However, the state has lost ground in areas including eighth grade math and the share of higher education costs to families.
Prichard Committee Director Stu Silberman says it's well past time to act on tax reform and put more state resources into education.
"You know we're making good progress," Silberman said. "I think we're accountable for the dollars that are being spent and when we are making good progress. That's the time to say, hey look we recognize that, we need to step in here and really help."
With the proper state investment, Silberman says six years from now, Kentucky could crack the top 10 in education nationally.
A new partnership between WKU and the University of Pikeville will offer new opportunities for students in eastern Kentucky to earn three master’s degrees in health-related fields. The deal announced Thursday will also open up Pikeville’s College of Optometry to WKU students
WKU President Gary Ransdell and UPIKE President James Hurley announced what they’re calling the “East Meets West” partnership. Speaking at the Pikeville campus, Dr. Ransdell said he began conversations with his Pikeville counterpart about a year ago over how the two schools could work together.
WKU will begin offering to UPIKE students this fall an online Speech-Language Pathology pathway program that includes all of the pre-requisite courses students needed to qualify for a master’s in Communication Disorders.
Also available to UPIKE students will be the WKU Master of Healthcare Administration degree, starting in the fall of 2015. The online program will allow current UPIKE medical students and those completing their residency program to finish both a master’s degree and their medical degree at the same time.
WKU President Gary Ransdell says it’s every employee’s job to help the school retain as many students as possible.
Addressing faculty and staff at Friday morning’s convocation at Van Meter Hall, Dr.Ransdell cited examples of academic progress, including an increase in the average ACT score of first-time baccalaureate students.
But he added that the school is still allowing too many students to leave campus without finishing their degrees.
“We are graduating just over 50 percent of our students in six years and we are still losing 25 percent of each freshman class within one year of their initial enrollment. So, for our students’ sake—if not for our own financial stability—please become part of the solution to keeping our students at WKU until they graduate.”
The WKU President said he was concerned about the value of the school’s remedial courses that many freshmen take. Ransdell added he’s worried the school is losing students who return home after their first semester with only three to six credit hours.
ACT test scores for high school graduates in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana all saw improvement this year.
The company that administers the test is calling the gains in Kentucky and Tennessee particularly promising.
Every high school graduate in Kentucky and Tennessee and nine other states takes the ACT as part of statewide assessment. This year, both Tennessee and Kentucky saw a 0.3 percent gain in composite score as compared to 2013.
The composite score in Kentucky was 19.9, while Tennessee students scored a 19.8.
Meantime, Indiana’s average composite score was 21.7, but only 40 percent of Indiana students took the test.
Kentucky is receiving a one-year extension for flexibility from certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind education act.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday that the extension will allow Kentucky and four other states to continue classroom reforms they have adopted in order to improve student achievement. President Obama announced in 2011 that his administration was willing to grant waivers from parts of the federal No Child Left Behind law to states that implemented their own education reforms.
In particular, the White House said it wanted to see states adopt changes aimed at closing the achievement gap between different groups of students and improving the overall quality of classroom instruction.
In announcing the extensions, the Education Department credited Kentucky’s new “Unbridled Learning” campaign, which is aimed at getting every student to graduate from high school either college or career-ready. As part of the Unbridled Learning effort, each school in the state is to chart its progress towards specific goals, and report results during regular staff and leadership meetings.
The other four states receiving one-year waivers from parts of No Child Left Behind are Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.