27, 2000 (Lexington, Ky.) The
University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved mechanical and chemical engineering
bachelor degree programs for its extended campus site in Paducah, Ky.
engineering degree program is a cooperative effort of Murray State University, Paducah
Community College, and UK.
hundred and twenty students are currently enrolled in the program and four students have
already completed the degree requirements in mechanical engineering and will receive their
UK diplomas very soon, said Thomas Lester, UK engineering dean. He said the first four graduates were actually
recognized at UK's Spring 2000 commencement in anticipation of today's approval of the
Lester made his first exploratory trip to Paducah 10 years ago to plan the western
Kentucky engineering program. In 1996, the
Kentucky General Assembly budgeted $1.4 million to support a Kentucky Council on Higher
Education resolution calling for UK, Paducah Community College and Murray State University
to establish the accredited engineering program for western Kentucky.
Paducah engineering degree program will enable UK to sustain the current economic base in
western Kentucky and to support initiatives that will broaden that base," Lester
degree program will be submitted to the Council on Postsecondary Education, but Lester
said the UK Board's action is all that is officially required to formalize the degree
UK faculty members and five jointly appointed Murray State University faculty members
teach the engineering courses. Dr. William
Murphy is the director of the engineering program at UK's extended campus site at Paducah
Community College. Students in the
engineering program earn their first two years of credit at PCC.
said he believes the enrollment in the Paducah engineering program will grow to 200 and
generate 50 graduates each year.
UK College of Engineering is involved in other statewide engineering initiatives that
would extend engineering opportunities to other regions of the state in joint degree
programs with comprehensive universities. Such
initiatives, under Council on Postsecondary Education direction, would integrate
engineering education at other levels of education including the Kentucky Virtual
University and kindergarten-twelfth grade classes.