Transformation Initiative


What is the KCTCS Transformation?

To advance our vision of becoming a premier community and technical college system, the KCTCS Transformation will further enhance access, retention and success for KCTCS students that will improve their quality of life and employability, leading to global competitiveness and economic prosperity that will benefit every citizen in the Commonwealth.

The 2010-2016 Business Plan for Transforming Kentucky - Transforming Lives, Transforming Kentucky - One Student, One Job at a Time outlines the KCTCS Transformation using the nine strategies listed below:

  • Curriculum Review
    • Create a technical program development and review process supported by research, development and analysis.
    • Create standardized, rapid-response curriculum and program approval development process.
  • Developmental Education
    • Develop and implement an alternative model for the delivery of developmental/transitions education in reading, writing and math, which is modularized, self-paced, competency-driven and computer-assisted/lab-based.
  • Dual Credit
    • Develop a consistent, statewide program of dual credit, using the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Programs (NACEP) standards as a framework.
  • Financial Aid
    • Establish unified financial aid standards at all KCTCS colleges based on industry-wide best practices.
  • Job Placement and Career Development
    • Provide comprehensive career development and job placement services to engage students in their educational pursuit from pre-enrollment to post-graduation.
  • Student Services
    • Develop a comprehensive outsourced student services delivery model that provides a seamless, scalable, virtual 24/7/365 student services call center help desk for all KCTCS students.
  • Transfer
    • Develop a holistic/integrated approach to transfer by developing coherent structures and integrated processes in the design and delivery of instructional and student services utilizing the Foundations of Excellence® Transfer Focus.
    • Utilize a comprehensive approach to developing partnerships and agreements with four-year institutions by creating pathways for students completing associate degrees to transfer to baccalaureate degree programs.

Why do we need to transform or change?

We must think differently about the way we do business if our students are going to succeed.  According to Reclaiming the American Dream, a report from the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a child born in poverty in the U.S. today is more likely to remain poor than at any other time in our history.  The report also states, the American Dream has stalled and the middle class is in decline.  We as an institution must contribute to the addition of 20 million postsecondary-educated workers over the next 15 years to strengthen our economy and reverse the decline of the middle class, according to the Center on Education and the Workforce. 

USA Today recently reported that individuals who live in nine states, including Kentucky, are less likely to improve their economic standing, and in some cases, are falling behind.  Studies conducted by the Lumina Foundation reveal only 29 percent of Kentucky’s 2.3 million working age adults hold at least a two-year degree compared to a national average of around 38 percent.  KCTCS must do more to reach these students as efficiently, effectively and quickly as possible.  In order to succeed in this goal, we must equip our students for an ever-changing workforce by any means possible.

The report mentioned above states we can no longer ignore the facts:

  • Students are arriving at college unprepared and that developmental education as traditionally practiced is dysfunctional.
  • Barriers to transfer students inhibit student progress.
  • Degree and certificate completion rates are too low.
  • Attainment gaps across groups of students are unacceptably wide.
  • Student career planning is often uninformed.
  • The gap between skills needed locally and the training offered on campus is large.
  • Financial challenges have been created due to double digit enrollment growth with decreases in per student funding. 

What might happen if a change is not made?

According to the report, it is estimated by 2018, nearly two-thirds of all American jobs will require a post-secondary certificate or degree.   If community colleges are to contribute powerfully to meeting the needs of 21st-century students and the 21st century economy, education leaders must reimagine what their institutions are capable of becoming.  Kentucky students of today must be prepared to join a high tech, innovative job market or the economy of the Commonwealth will undoubtedly suffer.

What is the status of the KCTCS transformation now?

Areas of the KCTCS Transformation are being re-sequenced in order to focus on developing a common vision of what it means to be a premier technical and college system.  However, that does not mean initiatives are standing still in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world.  Two areas of the transformation are rapidly moving forward-Transfer and Student Services.


Last fall, KCTCS launched the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education’s Foundations of Excellence program that is designed to raise the expectations and set the agenda for student success and transfer not only at KCTCS, but across Kentucky and the nation. We are currently the first community and technical college system in the nation to implement this effort statewide. 

By implementing this program, we are using a framework based on national research and best practices to assist us in defining and supporting the transfer process in a way that will increase the transfer rates and success of our students.

Since the launching of the program, KCTCS has:

  • Created steering teams, taskforces and committees to study and make recommendations to improve transfer at KCTCS.  More than 1,600 KCTCS faculty and staff across that state, and 35 faculty and staff from Kentucky public and private colleges and universities have participated in this effort.
  • Conducted a faculty/staff transfer survey among more than 4,000 KCTCS faculty and staff who work with prospective transfer students.
  • Conducted a transfer-bound student survey among more than 13,000 KCTCS students.
  • Facilitated a discussion about transfer planning with the Council on Postsecondary Education’s Council of Chief Academic Officers led by national expert Dr. John N. Gardner.
  • Developed 153 preliminary assessments (including each KCTCS college and the System Office) of KCTCS current practices around the nine foundational dimensions of transfer excellence.
  • Developed 17 comprehensive final reports.
    During the 2012-13 year we will take these reports and create both statewide and individual college action plans that will transform transfer at KCTCS.

Student Services

The initiative was formally launched in July of 2011 and much work has been done at both the college and system level.   This work includes:

  • Branding the center with the name Go KCTCS! Student Service Center.
  • Conducting engagement visits at each college to gather requirements and knowledgebase information, as well as share information about the Service Center project.
  • Conducting a statewide customer service philosophy discussion among faculty, staff and students.  It is imperative that before we launch a service initiative as far-reaching as this one, we must collectively create a Customer Service Philosophy that drives all our service systems and processes.  


Identifying a Go KCTCS! Student Service Center primary contact at each college who will be the local project manager and champion. Conducting readiness visits to assist colleges in determining their readiness to launch the first Phase of the project.
A staggered rollout of the call center will begin sometime after July 1 that provides call center support for questions related to password re-set, student account, financial aid and Learn on Demand.

How will I receive ongoing communications about areas of the Transformation?

A Communications Manager at each college has been designated to be your “go to” when it comes this initiative.  They will be sending out newsletters and other communications giving you status reports and updates along the way.  You might also receive guidance from one the Transformation Topic Team members if your focus includes one of the seven areas. 

Additional communication channels are being developed for your convenience.  If you have any questions, contact your local communications manager.