Murray State University’s college of education was awarded a grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to identify, develop and to share best practices designed to increase the educational and career attainment of students in the region. The role of the new Regional College and Career Readiness Center will be to organize the work of a broad set of grant partners to attain a number of grant goals.

Dr. Robert Lyons, chair of the department of educational studies, leadership and counseling at MSU, is the principal investigator in the design and implementation of the center. The partners include Murray State, and specifically it’s college of education, Office of Regional Outreach and the Teacher Quality Institute. Other partners are the Henderson, Hopkinsville and Madisonville community colleges; and the Kentucky Department of Education, Purchase Area Development District, Paducah Chamber Business and Education Partnership, West Kentucky Community Technical College, and the West Kentucky Educational Cooperative. “The grant’s objectives are to develop a seamless P-20 assessment model, conduct a needs assessment, facilitate a seamless transition to college and career, and collect institutional data to inform the process,” said Dr. Renee Campoy, interim dean of the college of education.

“The work of the center will not duplicate the current services each organization already provides, but it will enhance and expand them to meet goals that the Kentucky legislature has set for improving the educational and career attainment of its citizens,” Lyons noted.

At a meeting of the grant partners in July, Mary Anne Medlock of the Purchase Area Development District presented economic data compiled from the strategic plans of the Purchase and Pennyrile regions that identified four key industry sectors within the region — manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and energy. She reported that 54 percent of projected new jobs (2008-2018) will require advanced skills or a four-year degree. These economic factors will play a key role in the work of committee in determining how to advance the mission of college and career readiness across the region. Using the economic trend data presented by Medlock, the committee began the planning by recording the work already being done and projecting the work and support still needed to fulfill the grant goals.

The members of the committee present included: • West Kentucky Community and Technical College — Alvin Moore and Sherry Anderson • Christian County Education Coalition — Angie Major • Hopkinsville Chamber of Commerce — Cammie Evans • Murray State University — Carrie Howell, Cindy Thresher, Gina Winchester, Mike Freels, Pam Matlock, Renee Campoy, Robert Lyons, Tressa Ross and Trish Lofton • West Kentucky Educational Cooperative — John Settle • Purchase Area Development District — Mary Anne Medlock • Hopkinsville Community College — Randy Wilson • Kentucky Department of Education — Ronda Dunn • Adult Education Program/West Kentucky Educational Cooperative — Susan Jackson The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is a statewide agency that coordinates change and improvement in Kentucky’s postsecondary education system as directed by the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997.

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