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Posted: Friday, 15 November 2013 11:40AM

KCTCS President To Retire In 2015

After seating a president for Hopkinsville Community College, Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Dr Michael McCall will be retiring. McCall announced Friday that he will leave the educational system he helped found following 16 years of service. The first president of KCTCS says there have been many accomplishments over his term from growing to 70 locations and 700 programs to serving over 500-thousand people, but it is hard for him to chose one.

His retirement will be official January 15, 2015 and officials say this is to make sure a successor is named and ensure a smooth transition between the administrations. During the next month, Board of Regents Chair PG Peeples will develop a presidential search process and work with a search firm to develop a plan and timeline for a nationwide search.

KCTCS was created in 1997 when the 14 University of Kentucky community colleges were joined with the 15 technical institutions in the Kentucky Workforce Development cabinet.

During the next year, McCall will continue to work on the 2010-2016 Business Plan for Transforming Kentucky that is designed to increase student success by moving more students through the system's 16 colleges in less time and for less cost. Officials say he will also establish the KCTCS Momentum Scholarship Fund, which will assist students in completing a credential.

McCall’s devotion to two-year colleges and his vision for KCTCS set the course for the System. The mission of KCTCS has always been to improve the quality of life and employability of the citizens of the Commonwealth by serving as the primary provider of:
  • • College and Workforce Readiness,
  • • Transfer Education and
  • • Workforce Education.

In just 15 years KCTCS has become the number one provider of workforce and postsecondary education in the state.  Under McCall’s leadership KCTCS has flourished and become the place where higher education begins for many Kentuckians. Nearly half of Kentucky’s postsecondary education students are enrolled at a KCTCS college. 

Today, the 16 KCTCS colleges at more than 70 locations offer 700 programs in high wage, high demand fields, including 77 online credentials.  Other accomplishments during McCall’s tenure:
  • • Increased enrollment 109.7 percent.
  • • Served and changed the lives of more than 500,000 Kentuckians.
  • • Serves 6,204 businesses and trains 61,929 employees annually.
  • • Increased the number of certificates, diplomas and degrees awarded by 300 percent (2001-2012).
  • • Completed 45 capital projects totaling approximately $500 million, creating access to higher education throughout the state. There is a KCTCS location within a 30-minute drive of 95 percent of all Kentuckians.
  • • Worked with the General Assembly to champion revolutionary transfer legislation, which has eased the process for KCTCS students transferring to the state’s four-year public institutions. This legislation has become a national model.
  • • Established the North American Racing Academy (NARA), the first college-affiliated horse racing academy in the United States. Students from across the state, country and world travel to Kentucky to study at the NARA under the tutelage of Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.
  • • Launched the Kentucky Coal Academy, which has trained more than 55,000 new and incumbent miners for work in more than 70 coal companies.
  • • Created the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, a multi-state collaboration of community and technical colleges providing ongoing training for automotive technicians and engineers to equip them with the advanced skills they need to have successful careers in a constantly changing and globally competitive workforce.
  • • Created an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Fire/Rescue Science Technology through the Kentucky Fire Commission, which is part of KCTCS. The Kentucky Fire Commission trains 80 percent of Kentucky-trained firefighters.
  • • Integrated the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) into KCTCS. KBEMS certifies first responders and emergency medical technicians. Additionally, it provides licenses to paramedics and ambulance services and establishes standards for the education and training of emergency medical services personnel.

KCTCS has been recognized nationally. The culmination of McCall’s leadership was the creation of a premier community and technical college system, which has been reinforced by national recognition and awards. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) reported the creation and accomplishments of KCTCS represent the crown jewel of higher education reform in Kentucky. Additionally, NCHEMS measured Kentucky’s rate of improvement on key higher education metrics from 2000 to 2009. It reported that Kentucky ranks first among all states on three metrics. Two of those metrics, improvement in the percent of working-age adults with college degrees and the number of undergraduate credentials awarded relative to the population with no college degree, were due primarily to the efforts of KCTCS.

The report also revealed that the increase in three-year graduation rates at KCTCS colleges was the third highest percentage point change in the nation and resulted in Kentucky moving from 38th among states to 16th.  Other national recognition includes:
  • • The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., awarded the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence to several KCTCS colleges. The award represents the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.
  •  2011 - Eight were ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation and one was in the top three in the nation. Only two states, Florida and Texas, had more colleges recognized and these states are much larger than Kentucky.   
  •  2013 - Five were ranked in the top 10 percent with two in the top 10 - the most of any state.
  • • Community College Week recognized five KCTCS colleges as some of the nation’s fastest-growing community colleges in 2013.
  • • Second Lady Jill Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis invited KCTCS to be part of their “Community College to Career” bus tour. The event featured five KCTCS college workforce partnerships.
  • • The Association of Community College Trustees awarded KCTCS the Charles Kennedy Equity Award for its commitment to diversity in 2011.

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