“Paducah is really a regional hub of education. It gives students the ability to get a fine education right here in their own community. They have the ability to stay close to home and have family support. It’s a win all the way around,” -- Mayor Gayle Kaler.
On a recent episode of Your City at Work, Mayor Gayle Kaler, West Kentucky Community & Technical College (WKCTC) President Dr. Barbara Veazey, and Murray State University (MSU) Dean of Continuing Education and Academic Outreach Dr. Brian Van Horn talk about Paducah’s college and university corridor on Alben Barkley Drive near the Interstate-24 Exit 7 interchange.
WKCTC, the University of Kentucky’s Paducah Engineering Campus, and the brand new MSU Paducah Campus known as the Crisp Center are all located at that interchange. The Crisp Center opened in 2013 in a facility funded by the City, County, and Murray State. “Many of the students who attend classes at the college (WKCTC) are at the same time enrolled at Murray State straight across the corridor," said Dr. Van Horn.
Dr. Veazey added, “We have worked together for years. It just makes it nicer to be in close proximity.”
In the recent episode of Your City at Work, viewers heard about the new degree programs offered by both nationally-recognized institutions and learn about the Community Scholarship program that provides an incentive for students to graduate high school and continue to post-secondary programs. The program also discusses local demographics and trends in college graduate rates. “One of our challenges it to make it a culture for people to go to college after high school," Dr. Van Horn said.
Regarding the growth potential for WKCTC and for MSU, Dr. Veazey and Dr. Van Horn discussed how post-secondary institutions must keep up with technology and the demand for online courses. They also discuss the important roles WKCTC and MSU play in regional economic development and workforce training.
“For growth in both of our colleges, we are going to need new industry, which is what we are all about," Dr. Veazey said. "We need growth in our community for both of our colleges to grow in the future.”
Your City at Work can be seen on Government 11, the governmental access channel of the City of Paducah. The recent episode also is online at www.paducahky.gov and the various social media outlets for the City of Paducah including Youtube and Facebook.
Your City at Work is hosted and produced by Pam Spencer, Public Information Officer for the City of Paducah through the television production facilities at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. For more information about Your City at Work or other Government 11 programming, call Tom Butler, WKCTC Television Production Coordinator, at 534-3208 or Pam Spencer at 444-8669.