FRANKFORT, KY. –The Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education announced today that Kentucky is the seventh official state partner in its continuing national initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College. Using LEAP resources and the outcomes frameworks developed in the initiative, Kentucky colleges and universities already have been working to clarify what common learning outcomes all Kentucky two-year and four-year college students should be able to demonstrate to ensure they are receiving quality undergraduate degrees.
 
“The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education sought to become a LEAP partner state because the goals of LEAP are so congruent with our new 2011-15 strategic agenda for Kentucky postsecondary and adult education, Stronger by Degrees,” said Robert L. King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. “The assessment strategies and development of high-impact educational practices we will be developing and testing as a part of our involvement with the LEAP initiative will be critical to meeting our goal of increasing high-quality degree production and completion rates at all levels.”
 
In addition to becoming a LEAP partner state, Kentucky is also one of eight states involved in AAC&U’s new Quality Collaboratives initiative, funded with support from the Lumina Foundation. Through that initiative, Kentucky will work together with other participating states to learn from one another and develop consensus frameworks of learning outcomes—articulated in the recently released Degree Qualifications Profile—that chart levels of competence which every college student should achieve and integrate in five areas: broad and specialized knowledge, intellectual skills, applied learning, and civic learning.
 
Using this framework, Kentucky and the other states will test a family of approaches that assess learning demonstrated in samples of students’ actual work. This family of assessment approaches will help campuses develop educational practices that:
• Ensure that students achieve essential outcomes at appropriately high levels;
• Document students’ attainment of outcomes; and
• Facilitate students’ transfer of courses and competencies from two-year institutions to four-year institutions on their way to completing college degrees.
 
“Colleges and universities across the state of Kentucky already are working to ensure that graduates achieve the kinds of learning that will best position them for success in today’s turbulent global environment,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “AAC&U is pleased to partner with these institutions to accelerate their learning improvement efforts and shine a national spotlight on the high-impact educational practices Kentucky colleges and universities already are developing.”

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