Anchored by the state’s flagship university, the University of Kentucky, the Bluegrass boasts 14 colleges and universities within 40 miles of Lexington. In addition, Lexington has four other professional and technical colleges. In total, nearly 70,000 students are enrolled in institutions of higher learning in the Bluegrass, graduating over 17,000 annually. In downtown Lexington specifically, an emphasis on Town & Gown has strengthened the links between downtown and the two institutions that sit next door, Transylvania University to the north and the University of Kentucky to the south. Joining this pair is a new campus for Bluegrass Community & Technical College, which will bring a triangle of higher education to surround the revitalized downtown area.
The University of Kentucky is the Commonwealth’s flagship university and its principal research institution. The Carnegie Foundation classified UK as a Doctoral University (highest research activity), one of only 115 public universities in the nation ranked in the top category.
As part of UK’s service mission to Kentucky, several programs have been established to aid in economic development. Among these are: The industrial extension program, operating out of the Center for Manufacturing Systems, serving manufacturers with education and technology transfer in areas such as computer-aided manufacturing, high productivity machining, materials handling, and rapid prototyping.
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, offering a wide range of consulting, seminars and technical assistance for businesses, operates a downtown Lexington training and resource center.
A joint MBA/BS degree program between the College of Business and Economics and the College of Engineering was established in 1994. This innovative five-year program is aimed at creating future leaders in high technology industry.
An emphasis on developing a world-class College of Engineering, with degree programs in biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and mining engineering, materials science, computer science, and engineering mechanics.
The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship – an initiative of the Gatton School of Business and Economics – is a resource at UK to help launch and grow new businesses.
Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is a public teaching and research university with undergraduate and graduate programs located in Richmond, Madison County, with 40 additional online programs. EKU’s campus has five academic colleges and three libraries, and EKU operates six regional campuses throughout Kentucky serving a total of over 16,000 students. Established in 1906, EKU has been educating Kentuckians for over 100 years.
The Bluegrass Community & Technical College is a post-secondary vocational institution located on the northwest side of Lexington. It offers career training in over 40 areas of study, including Biotechnology, Business Management and Marketing, Computer Information Technology, and many other technical programs. Services include evening programs, assessment services, and customized business and industry classes.
The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, operated by KY FAME, a partnership between regional manufacturers, offers BCTC students an apprentice-based curriculum that combines learning with hands-on experience in an immersive environment. Students learn the knowledge and skills required for advanced manufacturing and apply those concepts while working part-time for regional manufacturers, such as Toyota and Link-Belt.
In 2017, BCTC opened their Advanced Manufacturing Center in Georgetown, KY. The new 78,000 square foot facility is has been created to resemble a manufacturing facility and has a maximum capacity of 1,200 students.
With strong business and industry support, BCTC provides relevant curricula, cooperative training sites and job placement opportunities. Students earning diplomas successfully complete exit competency exams. Employers are guaranteed that the students are competent in the skills for which they have been trained.
Articulation agreements in several programs allow graduates of Bluegrass Community Technical College to receive college credit toward an associate degree in their program continuum at select colleges and universities. The Southern Association of Schools accredits all schools.
Kentucky State University (KSU) is a public undergraduate and graduate university in the state capital of Frankfort, Franklin County. KSU enrolls around 2,000 students and offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The university has four colleges, an agriculture research farm, and an environmental education center. Reflecting its origins as a historically black university and land grant institution, more than half of today’s enrolled students are African American and from in-state. Diversity, excellence and innovation, ethical conduct, and social responsibility are among KSU’s core values.
Georgetown College is small private Christian liberal arts college in Georgetown, Scott County, offering multiple undergraduate areas of study and a Master of Arts in Education. Georgetown College emphasizes excellent teaching and mentoring to provide a quality education and has a very low student-faculty ratio.
Asbury University is a nondenominational Christian liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence and spiritual vitality. Primarily a four-year institution, Asbury also offers three master’s degree programs and enrolls approximately 2,000 students. Asbury is located less than 20 miles from Lexington in Jessamine County.
Located in Berea, Madison County, Berea College is a four-year liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 34 majors and enrolling around 1,600 students. Berea College is a unique educational institution that accepts only students with high academic performance and financial need, largely from Appalachia, and charges no tuition. Instead, students work in university departments or service jobs for at least 10 hours per week.
Formerly Midway College, Midway University is a private liberal arts undergraduate college offering business, equine studies, health science, and arts and science programs. Midway enrolls around 1,200 students and is the only women’s college in Kentucky, although the college offers evening and online classes to adult men and women.
Centre College is a four-year undergraduate private liberal arts college enrolling around 1,400 students. Centre offers 26 majors and 34 minors and the student-faculty ratio is 10 to 1. Centre College is located about 35 miles south of Lexington in Danville, Kentucky, and was founded nearly 200 years ago in 1819. Centre College focuses on providing students with internships, research opportunities, study abroad programs, and graduation within four years.
Transylvania University (“Transy”) is a private liberal arts college in downtown Lexington. Founded in 1780, Transylvania was one of the first colleges in Kentucky and is one of the oldest in the country. Transylvania enrolls nearly 1,000 students with a student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1 and offers 41 majors, 39 minors, and dual degree engineering programs. Students at Transylvania are encouraged to think critically and independently, communicate across specialties, be socially responsible, and embrace the college’s culture of interactive and life-long learning. The name “Transylvania” means “across the woods” and preserves the area’s history as a heavily forested area colonized by a group of settlers that included Daniel Boone as chief scout.