Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

With the passage of the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, Governor Paul Patton and the Kentucky General Assembly sought to improve the standard of living and quality of life in the state through increasing the educational attainment of its citizens. The production of bachelor’s degrees by the state’s public four-year universities is a key driver in increasing educational attainment and, therefore, meeting the goals of the legislation. This paper uses interrupted time series regression analysis to evaluate whether Kentucky public four-year universities have increased the rate at which bachelor’s degrees are produced in the period of time since the passage of reform. For purposes of comparison, the paper also uses the same methods to evaluate the other forty nine states.

The results of the interrupted time series analysis show that public four-year universities in Kentucky significantly increased the rate at which bachelor’s degrees were produced in the period of time after passage of the reform legislation. An analysis of the other states revealed that twenty-one other states showed an increase over the same time period greater than Kentucky’s. Further study is recommended to better understand the variables that are driving the increases in bachelor’s degree production at public four year universities in Kentucky and the other states.