Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) is a two year community college in Lexington, Kentucky. The school was formed in 2004 from two merging institutions, Central Kentucky Technical College and Lexington Community College, to create a large, comprehensive community college that can serve the needs of students in the following counties of Kentucky: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Scott, and Woodford. Today, there are over 11,000 students enrolled from throughout the Lexington area and beyond.
There are seven campuses in the BCTC system. The Cooper campus is located in Lexington; the Danville campus is in Danville; the Georgetown campus, home to the industrial maintenance technology program, is in Georgetown; the Lawrenceburg campus is in Lawrenceburg; the Leestown campus is in Lexington; the Regency campus, home to the business program, is in Lexington; and the Winchester campus is in Winchester. The Cooper campus is located adjacent to the campus of the University of Kentucky and shares many of the university’s resources—particularly convenient for students who wish to transfer to the university after graduating.
In addition to the seven main campuses, the college also offers classes at the downtown adult education center in Lexington, the Toyota manufacturing facility at Georgetown-Scott County Manufacturing Center, the Lancaster Higher Education Center, and Royal Springs Middle School in Georgetown.
Students may select from more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates. The school is particularly well known for its engineering, health, and mechanical programs.
In addition to the many programs with open admission, the college also maintains eleven selective admission programs. These programs are: dental hygiene, dental laboratory technology, nuclear medicine technology, associate degree nursing, polysomnography, radiography, and respiratory care on the Cooper campus; dental assisting, cosmetology, practical nursing, and surgical technology on the Leestown campus; associate degree nursing on the Lawrenceburg campus; practical nursing on the Danville campus; and equine studies at Kentucky Horse Park.
Furthermore, several popular programs are full to capacity most of the time. These programs maintain waitlists for interested and qualified students. Normally waitlisted programs include air conditioning technology, automotive technology, collision repair technology, equine studies, esthetician, and welding technology. Students interested in these programs should fill out a waitlist program request form, available on the website.
Alternative Ways to Participate in Academics
Because many students either work or have other obligations during the day, classes are offered in the evenings and weekends as well. There is also has a strong online education program, which allows students to “attend” class and complete work at any time convenient to them. Students in online classes pay in-state tuition rates regardless of their location. Registrants from around the world take advantage of this price break.
Online tutoring is also available to students taking online classes. Students can email a paper or assignment to the tutor along with the instructions for the project. A professional tutor will respond and engage the student in an email discussion to help guide their progress. Online students who live within commuting distance are welcome to visit one of the Writing Centers, which are located on the Cooper, Leestwon, Winchester, and Danville campuses. Online tutoring services are also available through the public library.
Internships and Experiential Education
BCTC facilitates both cooperative experiential education and internships for their students. Cooperative education ventures consist of paid employment which earns the students one credit hour for every 80 hours of work. Cooperative education Is letter graded. Internships, on the other hand, consist of unpaid employment which earns the students one credit hour for every 40 hours of work. Internships are graded pass/fail.
A wide variety of academic supports is provided for students. These include academic coaching, identification and early intervention for at-risk students, adult basic education, focus assessment, assessment testing, academic advising, peer tutoring, professional tutoring, supplemental instruction when necessary, and specialized tutoring services for nursing students.
The college also offers several kinds of computer assistance, including computer stations for student use, free Internet access on campus, and a variety of software programs for free use in order for students to complete assignments. These programs include Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, study software in many subject areas, Photoshop, Adobe Pagemaker, Graphical Analysis, Starry Night, and many more.
Academic Opportunities for High School Students
Opportunity College is a collaborative program with area high schools which facilitates classwork for juniors and seniors who wish to earn college credit before their graduation from high school.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The North American Racing Academy (NARA) is a professional jockey school offering classes in nutrition, communication, technology, nutrition for horses, and the rules of racing. NARA meets at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington. The academy was founded in 1988 as part of a movement to bring American thoroughbred racing up to international standards, as many other countries require education and certification for jockeys, but the United States does not. Although the University of Arizona and the University of Louisville both offer education in racetrack management, NARA is the only program for jockeys in the country.
The facilities at NARA include a training track, fitness center, and horse barn. In the future, the school plans to add a dormitory for jockeys in training as well as a kitchen and dining room. Students earn a two-year certificate in Equine Science.
Admissions are open, in keeping with the college’s mission to offer higher education to anyone in their catchment area who desires it. International students are expected to score at least a 400 (paper), 97 (computer) or 32 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
In addition to the usual array of federal and state financial aid options open to Kansas residents, the financial aid office offers several scholarships through the Kentucky Community Technical and College System (KCTCS). These include the KCTCS Presidential Scholarship, the KCTCS John T. Smith Scholarship, the KCTCS Commonwealth Scholarship, the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), and a number of donor scholarships. Other locally sponsored scholarships include the Fayette County Farm Bureau Scholarship and the Kentucky AHEAD Scholarship.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students come from most states and nearly 50 countries. The office of Multiculturalism and Inclusion promotes multiculturalism and serves as a resource for the many international students at the college.
Clubs and Organizations
The campus hosts a vibrant diversity of student clubs and organizations. In addition to academic clubs, belief-based organizations, and social clubs, notable extracurricular clubs include the Athena Club, which provides support and advocacy around the lives of people with disabilities; Courier, the student newspaper; and the Socialist Student Union. The Bluegrass Courier is the online newspaper with student-produced news, editorials, and comics.
The Arts in Focus Committee plans cultural events and guest speakers, organizes arts exhibitions, and holds an annual poetry contest for students. This committee also publishes the quarterly literary journal, Accolade. Members of the film program and performing arts (theater and chorus) work collaboratively with the committee to present their work.
Students may live in any of the 20+ residence halls at the University of Kentucky. To be eligible for campus housing, students must be enrolled full-time. Smoking is not allowed in any residence hall and alcoholic beverages are not permitted, regardless of the age of the students. Alcoholic beverage containers, including souvenir containers, are also not permitted.
Students have access to the Campus Area Transit System (CATS) which operates buses on four routes around the campus and the Lexington area.
Student services include free tutoring services, disabilities services, housing assistance, employment services, and individualized counseling services.
Services for disabled students include interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing; several kinds of computer software for people with disabilities provided free of charge; textbooks in audio, Braille, and electronic formats; special parking permits; and more.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletics department does not field any intervarsity sports. There are several intramural activities for students, including basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.