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New Early College program at WKU Glasgow will target local high school students, offer up to 30 hours of college credit

Kevin Willis
The Glasgow campus of Western Kentucky University has been at its current location on Hilltopper Way for 20 years.

Western Kentucky University has announced a new Early College program opening next fall at the school’s campus in Glasgow.

Select high school students from the region will be allowed to take classes at WKU’s Barren County campus alongside current university students, and earn up to 30 hours of college credit.

Participating high school students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher at the time of their application. One-hundred students from the region will be accepted to the program each year.

Seven local school districts have so far committed to making the program available to their students.

Those school systems are: Allen-County Scottsville; Barren County; Caverna; Glasgow Independent; Hart County; Metcalfe County; and Monroe County.

Students in the program will take WKU general education and career-specific college courses at WKU in the morning, and then return to their high schools in the afternoon for classes there. Professional career track courses being offered at the WKU Glasgow campus are agriculture; business management; crime & legal studies; education; and nursing.

WKU President Timothy Caboni announced the Early College program Thursday during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the school’s campus on Hilltopper Way in Glasgow. He said the effort is a way for high-achieving high school students to earn college credit during their junior and senior years and experience what it’s like to learn in a college environment “while still engaging in the activities and communities offered by their home high schools.”

Caboni said he also sees the Early College effort as another way the school is trying to connect with talented students who may be on the fence about attending a four-year college or university after their high school career is complete.

“We have to change the aspirations of our young people,” the WKU President said. “We need to demonstrate to them that college is within their reach, that they can afford it, and that they can do the work and be successful all four years.”

Director of WKU Regional Campuses, Derick Strode, was asked if the school was planning to spread the early college program to its other satellite campuses in Elizabethtown, Fort Knox, Owensboro, and Somerset.

“Our WKU in Glasgow campus is unique among our regional campuses. We offer four-year degrees here at this campus for the Glasgow service region. That’s why we chose to do the early college program here, and that’s where our plans are for right now,” he said.

The early college program at WKU Glasgow will start in the fall of 2023.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.