SREB and Kentucky


SREB and Kentucky

An overview of SREB programs and services and how Kentucky participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.



Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding or select a detailed state report.

College and Career Readiness

Readiness in State Accountability Systems

SREB staff distilled key elements of SREB states’ accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act into interactive profiles at

In October 2018, SREB updated the state profiles and published a regional report on five ways SREB states prioritized readiness in their ESSA plans. 

Kentucky’s profile notes the state’s efforts to raise expectations for college and career readiness through its school performance indicators.

In October 2018 at SREB’s annual meeting of legislative and governors’ staff, SREB staff presented information on these reports. A stakeholder from Kentucky attended.

Between April 2017 and January 2018, SREB hosted monthly conference call meetings of a state accountability network, for SREB member states to share ideas and discuss questions about redesigning and implementing state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act. A state education agency leader from Kentucky participated.  

Career and Technical Education 

State Leaders Forum 

Annual meeting for teams of legislators, policymakers, state board members, secondary and postsecondary education leaders, and workforce development agency representatives. Attendees explore policies and practices that help more young adults graduate prepare for postsecondary credentials and degrees and good jobs.

Kentucky attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum in December 2018: 7>

Kentucky Nursing Pathway

A coalition of Kentucky education and workforce partners worked with SREB to co-develop a seamless career pathway in nursing, one of the state’s high-demand fields. The 120-credit hour nursing pathway allows Kentucky students to earn a series of stackable credentials and degrees that lead to nursing careers. Kentucky high schools began piloting the pathway in the 2017-18 academic year. >

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals.

    Technical Assistance

    The state department sent representatives to SREB’s Sixth Annual Educator Effectiveness Convening in May 2018. They participated in collaborative working sessions with peers from 12 SREB states. State department staff met to discuss shared problems of practice in four areas: equitable access to effective teaching, leadership development, professional learning, and teacher voice.

    reports and data

    SREB produced the following resources for Kentucky leaders over the past year:

    Improving Educator Feedback and Support: Lessons from Eight States, February 2019, which shares a summary of technical assistance provided to half of the SREB states from 2015-2018.

    School Is My Happy Place, May 2018, which showcases the innovative strategies used to develop a positive school culture at an elementary school in central Florida.

    Mentoring New Teachers: A Fresh Look, January 2018, which proposes three action areas for states, districts and schools to support the development of novice educators and their mentors. >

    Teacher Preparation

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met during 2016, 2017 and 2018 and will publish its final recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs in late 2018.​

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. 

    Postsecondary Education


    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the Commission’s report, policymakers can draw on updated regional and individual state affordability profiles to better understand how these costs impact different family income levels.

    Kentucky’s College Affordability Profile 2018 reports that, on average, families needed 24 percent of family income was needed in 2015-16 to cover educational costs at the state’s public four-year comprehensive or regional universities and 15 percent at public two-year colleges.

    SREB convened state higher education agency executive officers in December 2018 to explore how SREB can best serve postsecondary agencies, discuss issues facing the states and solicit comments on our draft strategic plan. The Council for Postsecondary Education’s vice president for policy, planning and external relations participated.

    In April 2018, SREB collaborated with the Association of Community College Trustees and its Governance Institute for Student Success, which convened trustees, community college presidents and senior staff, and state postsecondary agency staff from Kentucky and three other SREB states. Among the topics discussed were the board’s role in state policy development, the changing world of work and learning, high-impact policies and practices, and engaging partnerships and collaborations.

    SREB featured the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship during the October 2018 annual meeting of legislative and governors’ office staff.

    Interstate Passport

    A framework to accelerate and streamline transfer of lower-division courses among institutions in different states. 

    Kentucky is one of three SREB states participating by reviewing learning outcomes for the Passport framework.

    State Services

    Connects policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff, including the President, visited Kentucky to meet with legislators and staff and attend committee meetings in 2019.

    Throughout 2018-19, legislators, legislative staff and governor’s staff from Kentucky requested assistance on topics including teacher salaries.


    Kentucky staff were among those from 8 SREB states at the 2018 meeting of legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions.

    Kentucky legislators were among those in attendance at the 2018 meetings of SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council and Legislative Work Conference. >


    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Advanced Career

    Nine pathways that combine college-ready academics with hands-on, project-based assignments that spark students’ learning and interest in STEM careers. Each four-course AC pathway prepares students for advanced industry credentials and two- and four-year postsecondary credentials and degrees.

    Kentucky schools delivering AC curricula during 2018-19:

    • Aerospace Engineering: 1 school
    • Energy and Power: 2 schools
    • Informatics: 2 schools
    • Integrated Production Technologies: 1 school
    • Teachers trained to date: 19 >

    Readiness Courses

    Ready for High School Courses

    Courses that help eighth- and ninth-graders master the literacy and math skills they need to complete a college-ready academic core and pursue challenging career pathway programs in high school. Ready for High School Literacy and Ready for High School Math can be offered in the eighth or ninth grades.

    Number of Kentucky teachers who attended Ready for High School trainings in 2018-19:
    Ready for High School Literacy: 21
    Ready for High School Math: 16

    Ready for College Courses

    Courses that help juniors and seniors master literacy and math skills before they transition from high school to postsecondary education and the workplace. In Literacy Ready, seniors develop and defend ideas from texts in diverse subject areas and write about those texts at a college level. Math Ready develops critical thinking and math reasoning skills and engages seniors in applying math to solve real-world problems.

    Number of Kentucky teachers who attended Ready for College trainings in 2018-19:
    Literacy Ready: 11
    Math Ready: 11>

    Making Schools Work

    A school improvement process developed by SREB that engages K-12 educators and school leaders in identifying and studying problems of practice, implementing research-based solutions to those problems, and learning within a collaborative network of schools. Schools adopt Making Schools Work through designs for middle grades schools, high schools and technology centers.

    Kentucky is a member of the Making Schools Work network.

    Advisory Council Member: David Horseman, associate commissioner, Office of Career and Technical Education, Kentucky Department of Education

    State Coordinator: Tom Thompson, Office of Career and Technical Education, Kentucky Department of Education

    Schools, districts and states contract with SREB to implement Making Schools Work and receive targeted school improvement services such as professional development, instructional coaching and technical assistance.

    Three Kentucky districts contracted with SREB for direct services in 2018-19.

    SREB will deliver 237 days of on-site coaching and professional development in these districts.

    One Kentucky technology center contracted with SREB for direct services in 2018-19.

    Frankfort Independent Schools

    Middle grades schools and high schools in Frankfort Independent Schools in Frankfort, Kentucky, are working with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies to prepare students for college and careers. Strategies include:

    • Training and coaching in literacy and mathematics practices
    • Adoption of advanced CTE courses such as Advanced Career
    • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders to support career pathways
    • Support for STEM in the middle grades
    Gene Bottoms Pacesetter School Awards

    Frankfort High School​​
    Frankfort, Kentucky

    Frankfort High School in Frankfort, Kentucky, won a Gene Bottoms Pacesetter School Award in July 2018.>


    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    Making Schools Work Conference

    Annual conference, formerly known as the High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference, for K-12 teachers, counselors, principals, technology center directors and state and district education agency personnel.

    Kentucky attendees at the July 2018 conference: 28>

    College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference

    Conference that focuses on literacy and mathematics tools and strategies. Teams of educators and school leaders explore disciplinary literacy strategies and formative assessment lessons that engage students in math.

    Kentucky attendees at the July 2018 conference: 26>

    Teaching to Lead

    Teacher preparation program that helps professionals from business and industry become career and technical education teachers. Intensive professional development and coaching supports teachers in planning instruction, engaging students, managing classrooms and designing standards-driven assignments.

    Kentucky is receiving SREB support in 2018-19 for a statewide CTE teacher preparation program using T2L. Kentucky teachers participating in T2L will earn up to 12 hours college credit.


    Postsecondary Education

    Academic Common Market

    A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

    During academic year 2019-20, 2,198 degree programs were available, 166 institutions participated, and 2,261 residents were certified for study through the Academic Common Market.

    For academic year 2019-20, 181 Kentucky residents were certified to attend degree programs at out-of-state institutions through the Academic Common Market.

    ACM State Representative: Kathy Garrett, Senior Associate for Academic Program Management, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. >

    Regional Contract Program

    Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

    Participating Kentucky residents in 2019-20: 178

    Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Kentucky programs in 2019-20: 3

    Residents of other states may contract for entry into the University of Pikeville for Optometry. For academic year 2019-20, this institution received $48,000 from other SREB states.

    RCP State Coordinator: Shaun McKiernan, Senior Associate, Budget and Finance, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to offer more high-quality distance education programs for students and ease the regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states. By participating, colleges and universities in the SREB region save almost $30 million annually.

    Kentucky is an approved member of SARA.

    Colleges and universities in Kentucky saved $8.1 million for initial authorization and save $2.4 million annually on renewals, according to estimates in a return-on-investment study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

    Kentucky SARA representative: Sara Levy, Executive Director of Postsecondary Licensing, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Member At-Large (11/2018 – 10/2020): Kristin Williams, Chancellor of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Fact Book

    The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education is a compilation of comparative data on topics including demographics; college enrollment, retention, progression and graduation; tuition and fees; student financial aid; state support for postsecondary education; and faculty salaries. The Fact Book is published bi-annually, but the data are updated annually and made available on the SREB website.​

    Kentucky leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and Kentucky: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education.

    SREB-State Data Exchange

    An annual collection of postsecondary education data that are submitted by representatives (i.e., Data Exchange coordinators) of postsecondary education system offices. The data collected include degrees conferred, student retention and progression, time to degree, student credit hours taken by high school students and by college students in courses using distance education technology, state funding for postsecondary education, and tuition and fees.​

    SREB-State Data Exchange tables are posted on the SREB website.

    Kentucky’s participating agency and SREB-State Data Exchange Coordinator: David Mahan, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of November 2018, two Kentucky institutions are members, listed here with their representatives to the Council:

    Morehead State University: Lynn Parsons, Chair
    Spalding University: Patricia Spurr, Associate Dean and Chair >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,100 attendees. The data below reflect Ph.D. Scholars who are funded by the state or by individual institutions.​​

    Kentucky scholars since 1993: 129
    Kentucky scholars funded in 2018-19: 4
    2018 Institute attendees from Kentucky: 22
    Graduates since 1993: 90
    Graduates currently employed: 80
    Percent employed in education: 84

    Kentucky Ph.D. students in the DSP have attended these institutions since 1993:

    University of Kentucky
    University of Louisville
    Tulane University of Louisiana >

    Passport Project

    A new learning outcomes-based framework to accelerate and streamline transfer of student course credits among institutions in different states. SREB has joined other regional compacts in the Passport Project.

    Kentucky is one of three SREB states reviewing learning outcomes for the Passport framework.


    Interstate Cooperatives

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues, and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education. 

    Kentucky representatives attended the spring and summer webinars. Kentucky sent four attendees to the 2018 ETC annual meeting on teaching and technology.

    Kentucky ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on working groups for revisions. Frank Wells of the Kentucky Department of Education served as team leader for the technology infrastructure and security working group. 

    Kentucky ETC representative and member agencies:

    David Couch, Associate Commissioner, Office of Education Technology, Kentucky Department of Education >

    Insurance and Technology Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $8.3 million on over $83 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2018 — more than double the FY2017 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    Kentucky saved $180,172 on $1,821,740​ in technology purchases in fiscal year 2018.

    The University of Louisville participates in MHECare student insurance solutions. >