BCTC joins effort to improve education in central Kentucky

Presindent's CeremonyBluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) has joined the newly formed Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium (BHEC) with 11 other universities to improve educational attainment and economic opportunity for central Kentuckians. The 12 universities signed a charter agreement last Wednesday at Bluegrass Tomorrows annual breakfast meeting. BCTC's president Dr. Augusta A. Julian and Eastern Kentucky University's president Doug Whitlock, both Bluegrass Tomorrow board members and co-chairs of the new consortium, made the announcement.

Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Bluegrass Area Development District conducted research last year that helped college and university presidents and key academic officers determine initial goals of BHEC. The Bluegrass ADD and the Council on Postsecondary Education have been collaborating closely with Bluegrass Tomorrow as meetings and discussions have evolved.

Developing a university center-sharing program similar to Oxford University's is one of the consortium's most significant long-range goals. This model would include faculty exchange, academic program course sharing and transfer of credits, library sharing and more. Georgetown College President Bill Crouch introduced the concept at the groups first roundtable meeting.

Other goals include secondary-level teacher training to certify more educators to teach college-level courses, collaborative discussion with superintendents, business leaders and economic development professionals, research and asset mapping of academic programs and resources available, collaboration on student professional readiness and development, and collaboration on international study abroad opportunities.

The 12 schools that have agreed to collaborate to advance the regional educationally and economically are: Asbury University, Berea College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Midway College, Morehead State University, Kentucky State University, Sullivan University, Transylvania University, and the University of Kentucky.