Higher Education in Kentucky
There are many excellent universities and community and technical colleges in our region of this country, but I'd like to ask you to take a closer look at postsecondary education in Kentucky.
You probably know a lot about Kentucky colleges and universities because of our successful athletic teams. But what many people don't know is that Kentucky has become a national leader in reforming colleges and universities to meet the needs of students.
In 1997, I proposed the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act. Behind that complex title is a simple message: we want better schools to be available to more students at an affordable price. And that's exactly what we've been doing.
As a result of that bill's passage, we've increased funding for our colleges and universities by 37% since 1997. We've realigned our community and technical colleges to encourage more cooperation. We've put more emphasis on accountability, so when you graduate we know you have the skills you need to get the job you want.
And we're are making sure that when you go to college, improve your skills and expand your knowledge that a good job and a good wage are waiting for you. Our colleges and universities are helping us compete in a new economy driven by knowledge and information. We'll continue to build partnerships with the private sector to train workers, make our businesses more efficient, make their products more effective, and create new products and new jobs.
Most importantly, we're changing the idea of postsecondary education from a luxury for only the brightest or wealthiest students to a necessity available to everyone.
Kentucky's progress was recently applauded in a national report card on postsecondary education. According to Measuring Up 2002, Kentucky is one of only two states making progress in all five categories of higher education on the national report card.
Our reforms are making a difference. And the rest of the country knows it.
They've seen our work and are applauding Kentucky's vision and determination. They're saying that Kentucky is doing it right!
You should come join us.
Kentucky boasts eight public universities, each with well-respected, well-recognized academic programs. We also have 21 independent colleges and universities. They're located all over our state, from large cities to small towns. And we have 13 community colleges and 15 technical colleges where you can study anything from interior design to medical lab technology. Or, start off with a degree from a technical or community college, and use that as a springboard to finish a bachelor's degree at one of our universities
But great schools aren't the only reasons to come - and stay - in Kentucky. Ten of our colleges and universities are located within an hour's drive of either Louisville or Lexington, Kentucky's two largest cities. Both cities offer a wealth of activities. Enjoy horse racing at Lexington's Keeneland Race Course, or spend a night with the city's minor league baseball team, the Lexington Legends. In Louisville, take a day at internationally-known Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Or, you can check out Louisville's theatre scene at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and the critically acclaimed Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Plus, we have America's most beautiful college of parks such as Mammoth Cave National Park in southcentral Kentucky, Cumberland Gap State Park in the east, and the Land Between the Lakes in western Kentucky. Additionally, many of our colleges and universities are located in the northern Kentucky-Cincinnati regional area.
As a student preparing to continue your education, you have some important decisions to make. Be sure to consider all the variables, get all the information to you can, and keep your mind open to new choices. We believe once you've done your homework, you'll see that Kentucky is a state where education pays. Let a Kentucky education pay off for you.