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Council on Postsecondary Education and Kentucky Department of Education Launch Statewide Partnership with OneGoal to Increase College Enrollment, Completion

The program, which supports students’ postsecondary success, will launch in August.


FRANKFORT, Ky, July 8, 2022–Leading postsecondary success organization OneGoal, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced a new partnership that will work to eliminate equity gaps and improve postsecondary education outcomes for students.

Participating districts will complete a two-year program with OneGoal, a national organization working to ensure more students from low-income communities earn a postsecondary education credential that leads to economic mobility and family-sustaining wages. The partnership will bring the OneGoal Leadership Network to support district and high school leaders across the state. Districts are invited to apply to be a part of the state’s inaugural cohort and join a supportive community of experts and peers working to advance success for all their students.

The partnership is part of a statewide effort to ensure equity in postsecondary advising, especially as COVID-19 has resulted in an enrollment crisis nationwide and across the state.

CPE President Aaron Thompson said the work was initiated based on the recommendations of the Commonwealth Education Continuum, a statewide group formed in 2021 to strengthen the education pipeline.

Co-chaired by Thompson, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, and Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass, the continuum consists of 28 members whose expertise ranges from early childhood education to workforce development.

The partnership will leverage this new support at no cost, as the state is using $1.5 million in federal pandemic relief funds to fully fund the collaboration for two years.

“In order for students to earn degrees and credentials that lead to sustainable and well-paying careers, their education, from preschool through college, should have built-in supports to help them successfully transition to the next level,” said Thompson. “I’m proud of the Commonwealth Education Continuum’s role in initiating this new partnership to help high school educators set their students on the right path.”

The partnership begins with school and district leaders working with OneGoal coaches to assess their school or district’s postsecondary readiness to develop a clear picture of their specific needs and opportunities. From there, they will build a path to high-impact improvements, tailored to their unique contexts. Participants will receive regular coaching to implement their plans, analyze data, and refine their strategy over the two years. Additionally, OneGoal will convene participants in communities of learning to explore challenges they have in common, share progress and build a network that can provide enduring support. The end result is system-level improvements that lead to better student outcomes.

“We are proud to be a partner on this project,” said Glass. “KDE and the Kentucky Board of Education are committed to equity in the Commonwealth’s public schools. For many of our students, their pathway to success will involve more education beyond high school. This partnership will help our students be ready for the opportunities that higher education can give them.”

Undergraduate enrollment among working-age adults (age 25-49) in Kentucky has decreased by 44% since 2012-2013. Further, Kentucky has significant racial disparities in educational attainment, according to the Lumina Foundation. The percentage of Black students with an associate degree or higher is 29%, while only 27% for Hispanic students, compared to 36% of their white peers.

“The OneGoal team is thrilled to begin working with new district partners across Kentucky,” shared OneGoal Chief Impact Officer Patty Diaz-Andrade. “District leaders play a critical role in our collective responsibility to close the degree divide, and when we enable them to take stock of structural barriers and assess current practices, they are better positioned to bridge secondary and postsecondary transition for all students.”

The application deadline for school districts in Kentucky is Monday, Aug. 1. The application is open to all school districts; CPE will select inaugural districts to participate based on current postsecondary outcomes, opportunity gaps, and financial needs. Leaders interested in accelerating system-level change in their district are encouraged to visit OneGoal’s website to learn more and connect with OneGoal’s team.


About the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

The Council on Postsecondary Education is leading transformation in our workforce, economy and quality of life by advancing progress in educational attainment across Kentucky. As the state’s higher education coordinating agency, we champion high-quality, inclusive and affordable postsecondary opportunities that prepare students for civic engagement and sustainable careers. That’s why we are undertaking the 60×30 goal, an ambitious effort to raise the percentage of working-age Kentuckians with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 60% by the year 2030. At CPE, we believe that higher education matters – for everyone.

About the Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Department of Education’s mission is to partner with districts, schools, families, students, business and industry, and communities to provide leadership and support to ensure success for every student in each of the Commonwealth’s 171 public school districts. Learn more about United We Learn, the state’s new vision for the future of public education in Kentucky that builds around three central themes: creating a more vibrant experience for every student, encouraging innovation in our schools – especially when it comes to assessment, and creating a bold new future for Kentucky’s schools through collaboration with our communities.

About OneGoal

OneGoal is a leading postsecondary access and success organization dedicated to closing the degree divide and creating a more equitable future. The OneGoal classroom-based model serves students whose postsecondary opportunities might be limited due to their academic and socioeconomic profiles. Students take the OneGoal class during their junior and senior years of high school and continue receiving one-on-one support through the first year of their postsecondary journey. 85% of OneGoal high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary institution and 74% of those who enroll persist one year after high school. The OneGoal Leadership Network equips school leaders with the skills, knowledge, and support to achieve more equity in advising and increase postsecondary success for students across entire districts.

For more information on OneGoal, contact Stephen Barker, OneGoal Director of Communications, [email protected], (316) 734-1042.

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