Established in 1997, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System organized technical schools and public two-year community colleges into a single statewide structure. Today, KCTCS enrolls over 100,000 students and encompasses 16 regionally accredited community colleges that utilize 68 college campuses throughout Kentucky.
The community colleges of KCTCS award Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degrees, along with diploma and certificate programs. The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees provide additional transfer opportunities into four-year institutions. In addition to academic and technical programs, KCTCS supports workforce development and personal enrichment programs, and Kentucky Community and Technical College System remains the largest state provider in distance education offering more than 70 online programs.
The following community college systems are housed within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System:
Ashland Community and Technical College, located in Ashland, first began instruction in 1938. Today, ACTC enrolls approximately 5,000 students on three campuses, including College Drive Campus, Roberts Drive Campus, and Technology Drive Campus. The student-to-faculty ratio at ACTS is 18:1. Students can choose from multiple technical and academic programs, such as Nursery Production, Pre-engineering, Diesel Technology, Cosmetology, Appalachian Studies, Nursing, and more. Ashland Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Big Sandy Community and Technical College enrolls more than 4,000 students on four campuses, located in Pikeville, Prestonsburg, Paintsville, and Hager Hill. BSCTC offers more than 40 programs of study. The most popular majors include Associate in Arts and Associate in Science transfer degrees, Nursing (RN Training), Nursing (RN), Business Administration and Management, and Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration. Students can also pursue studies ranging from Culinary Arts and Dental Assisting to Diesel Technology and Surveying & Mapping Technology. Big Sandy Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Bluegrass Community and Technical College, in Lexington, prepares students for transfer into four-year institutions, and supports a range of technical, professional development and continuing education courses, in addition to literacy skills development and programs providing educational opportunities for community members. More than 14,000 students are enrolled, and BCTC offers day, evening, and weekend programs at campuses, including Cooper Campus, Danville Campus, Lawrenceburg Campus, Leestown Campus, Newtown Campus, Regency Campus, and the Winchester-Clark County Campus. Students can pursue more than 40 fields of study, ranging from Early Childhood Education and Business Management and Marketing to Security Management and Respiratory Care. Bluegrass Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Bowling Green Technical College first enrolled students in 1939 in order to prepare students for the industrial workplace and to facilitate the training of military personnel during World War II. The school transitioned into a vocational school before becoming a part of KCTCS. Today, Bowling Green maintains six campuses located in the towns of Bowling Green, Glasgow, and Franklin, and enrolls approximately 6,000 students. Students can complete Associate’s degrees or opt to pursue certificate and diploma programs in a large number of fields, including Computerized Manufacturing and Machining, Engineering and Electronics Technology, and Business Studies. Bowling Green Technical Colleges is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, founded in 1964, awards Associate’s degrees, including transfer options, in addition to providing continuing and life-long educational programs, and professional development coursework. Students can attend the Elizabethtown Campus, or pursue studies at either the Springfield Campus or Fort Knox Campus - a campus that serves military personnel and their families. In addition, ECTC maintains seven off-campus instructional sites. An array of studies give students multiple options, some of which include Global Studies, Plumbing Technology, Radiography, Real Estate, Education, and others. More than 7,800 students attend ECTC. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Gateway Community and Technical College sums up their mission and strategy in three words: “Make Change Happen.” The college enrolls more than 4,800 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. GCTC houses three campuses, in Boone County, Covington/Park Hills, and Edgewood, and supports a wide range of academic and professional development programs. Fields of study include topics in business, healthcare, manufacturing, and more. Students can pursue Associate’s degrees, certificate, diplomas, or participate in lifelong learning programs, including adult education courses, workforce training and assessments, and continuing education programs. Gateway Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Hazard Community and Technical College provides students with a number of educational opportunities, including Associate’s degrees in Transfer Curricula and Transfer Curricula/Art Related programs, in addition to occupational and technical curriculums awarding certificates, diplomas, or Associate in Applied Science degrees. Students can enroll in the Mining Technology certificate or degree program, or enhance skills through programs in Visual Communication Multimedia, and Practical Nursing. Popular programs include Health Information Technology, PSA: Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music, Criminal Justice, and Welding Technology. Approximately 4,000 students attend HCTC and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. HCTC supports the HCTC Hazard Campus, in addition to the HCTC Lees College Campus, HCTC Technical Campus, HCTC Leslie County Center, and the HCTC Knott County Branch. Hazard Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Henderson Community College was first established as a public land grant institution in 1960, and later became one of the charter institutions of the University of Kentucky Community College System, known today as KCTCS. More than 2,200 students are enrolled in degree-seeking programs, including Associate’s degrees, transfer degrees, certificates, and diploma programs and another 4,000 community members participate in Henderson’s continuing education programs. Their 13 different areas of study range from the Clinical Laboratory Technology program to studies in agriculture, business, and manufacturing. The 100-acre main campus is located just three miles from downtown Henderson, and HCC also utilizes the Industrial and Engineering Technology site and the Herron Center. Henderson Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Hopkinsville Community College, founded in 1965, awards Associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates in 20-plus fields of study. Degrees include transfer programs, and studies in Nursing, Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Office-Systems Technology, and more. Students can complete studies at either the Hopkinsville Campus or at the Fort Campbell Campus. HCC also sponsors coursework at the Princeton Center and West Kentucky Regional Postsecondary Education Center in Hopkinsville. HCC enrolls nearly 4,500 students. Hopkinsville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Jefferson Community and Technical College allows students to choose from more than 70 fields of study, with 300-plus Associate's degree, certificate, and diploma options. Popular programs on campus include studies in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Carpentry, Electrician, Plumbing Technology, Occupational Therapist Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Nuclear Medical Technology, Medical Radiologic Technology, Masonry, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing, Business Administration and Management, and Real Estate. JCTC traces its founding to the latter half of the twentieth century when a number of community and technical colleges opened in Jefferson County and the surrounding region. Today, JCTC maintains six campuses, including Bullitt County Campus, Carrollton Campus, Downtown Campus, Jefferson Technical Campus, Shelby County Campus, and the Southwest Campus. Approximately 15,000 students attend the school and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Jefferson Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Madisonville Community College provides educational opportunities for local residents, supporting degree programs, technical training and professional development programs, and facilitating arts education and arts entertainment. MCC operates four campuses, including the Health Campus, Muhlenberg County Campus, North Campus, and the ACE2 and Assessment Center. Students can pursue Associate’s degrees, along with diplomas and certificates, in five areas of study, including Health Professions, Engineering Technology and related fields, Business Management, including Marketing, Computer and Information Sciences, and Construction Trades. The student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1 and MCC enrolls approximately 4,500 students. Madisonville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Maysville Community and Technical College has provided education and training since 1968. MCTC oversees various campus locations and extension sites in Northeastern Kentucky, including the Licking Valley Center, Maysville Campus, Rowan Campus, along with the Montgomery, Donald W. Kiser Paris, and Rowan Campus Downtown Extension sites. Today, more than 4,600 students attend Maysville and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. MCTC offers certificates of completion and Associate’s degrees in over 25 areas of study. Programs focus on studies in Nursing, Business Administration, Early Childhood Education, Information Technology, Energy Systems Technology, Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, and others. Maysville Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Owensboro Community and Technical College traces its technical education roots to 1929, the year that C.F. Criley opened a trade school in a garage. Likewise, Owensboro Community College began as a branch of Henderson Community College. As both institutions faced growth, transitions occurred, and ultimately they merged under the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Currently, OCTC maintains three physical campuses, including the Downtown Campus, the Main Campus, and the Southeastern Campus. OCTC enrolls about 7,000 students awarding degrees and supporting continuing education programs. Students can choose from a number of programs, including fields in Automotive Technology, Broadcast Television Production, Education, Horticulture, Human Services, Nursing, Pharmacy Technology, and more. Owensboro Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Somerset Community College, with more than 9,000 students, serves the community and its students through workforce trainings, transfer degree options, college level programs, and student resources. SCC awards Associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates in 60-plus fields of study, some of which include studies in Nursing, Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Surgical Technology, Early Childhood Education, Information Technology, and Aviation Technology. SCC operates two campuses and four centers in a six-county region: Somerset Campus, Laurel Campus, Casey Center, Clinton Center, McCreary Center, and Russell Center. Somerset Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, first established in 1960, currently retains five full-service campuses for its more than 5,000 students, including the Cumberland Campus, Harlan Campus, Middlesboro Campus, Pineville Campus, and the Whitesburg Campus. Programs include Associate’s degrees to prepare students for transfer into four-year programs; Associate in Applied Science degrees, certificates, and diplomas with a focus on technical careers, continuing workforce education for professional development and personal enrichment, along with academic support services and the promotion of the area’s Appalachian heritage. A large number of academic programs extend from Appalachian Studies and Historic Information Management to programs in Funeral Service, Construction Technology, and Respiratory Care, and others. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
West Kentucky Technical College, opening in 1909, provided teacher training for African-American students. Later in 1932, Paducah Community College enrolled its first students. These two separate educational facilities merged and were consolidate under KCTCS, which ultimately founded West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Today, WKCTC enrolls approximately 7,000 students, awarding Associate’s degrees, in addition to certificates and diplomas. Students can choose from transfer and career-oriented programs organized into four academic divisions, including Allied Health and Personal Services; Applied Technologies; Business & Computer Related Technologies; and Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences. Furthermore, WKCTC maintains the Main Campus, in addition to the Purchase Training Center, the Skilled Craft Training Center, and other off-campus sites. West Kentucky Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Students can also choose to enroll in the online campus. Distance education programs are delivered by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), rather than organized by individual community colleges. Students have two major options for distance learning.
- Option one features KCTCS Online Learn by Term - Semester-based Online Programs, awarding Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degrees, in addition to diplomas and certificates. Students can choose from a wide range of programs, including fields in Information Management and Design, Medical Information Technology, Education, Marine Technology, Nursing, and more. Students must first designate a single KCTCS Home College, and gain specific-program approval in order to receive approved credits. The assigned Home College serves as a resource center for admissions, advising, library resources, financial aid, and other educational matters. Additionally, credits earned online can be applied to the “required 25 percent of the approved curriculum credits to be completed at the college granting the degree.” All instruction takes place online, however, students may be required to complete proctored exams.
- Option two promotes the KCTCS Online Learn on Demand Programs allowing greater flexibility and convenience. Coursework includes 15-week full (parent) courses and/or 3-5 week modules. Students determine their schedules by enrolling in courses that better fit busy lifestyles. Students proceed through asynchronous individual courses at their own pace, and determine when to begin a new module or full course. Degree programs include the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Business Administration, Computer and Information Technologies, Nursing, and Integrated Engineering Technology. Students can also pursue diplomas in Business Administration Systems and Integrated Engineering Technology or complete certificates in Computer and Information Technologies, Business Administration, Human Resource Management, Nursing, and Integrated Engineering Technology. Additionally, Learn on Demand College Readiness builds core skills in mathematics, writing, and reading.
The community colleges through KCTCS maintain an open admission policy. Prospective degree-seeking students will need to submit the application, in addition to official high school transcripts/GED equivalent, ACT/SAT assessment scores, official college transcripts (if applicable), along with any other necessary documentation. Students that have not completed ACT or SAT assessments will need to complete an on-campus placement examination. KCTCS may also award credits for prior college-learning level experiences, including Advanced Placement, CLEP, Dual Credit coursework, work-based experiences, DSST exams and prior military training, and other qualifying programs.
Student activities and organizations provide an extra-curricular outlet for students attending a KCTCS community college. Kentucky’s community colleges sponsor the Student Government Association, honor societies, such as the National Vocational Technical Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, along with co-curricular activities, including literary publications, choral and band groups, intramural sports, and others campus events.
Tuition and fees are determined by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents. Tuition is charged per credit hour and based on state residency, in addition to residency of contiguous counties bordering the state of Kentucky.
- In-state students, $140 per credit hour
- Out-of-state students, from contiguous counties, $280 per credit hour
- Out-of-state students, other out-of-state students, $490.
KCTCS supports financial aid programs, including loans, grants, and scholarships for eligible students. Federal aid programs include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, and Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans. State awards include the College Access Program (CAP), Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), and the KHEAA Early Childhood Development Scholarship. Additionally, KCTCS supports statutory scholarships (waivers) and tuition scholarships for Kentucky residents, in addition to college tuition scholarships. Students may also access aid from external sources, including organization-supported scholarships and private lending agencies.
Veterans, military personnel, and their spouse and/or dependents may also qualify for a number of benefits, including:
- Montgomery GI Bill, Active Duty or Veteran Status
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program
- Montgomery GI Bill, Selected Guard and Reserves
- REAP (Reservists Call to Active Duty)
- Kentucky Tuition Waiver Program.
Sector Of Institution:Public, 2-year
Highest Level Of Offering:Associate's degree
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