Director Dr. Gene Tice
Colors Red and White
Mascot Big Red
Number of students 1,200
Campus 27 acres (110,000 m)
Phone +1 270-684-9797
Color Red and White
|Location Owensboro, Kentucky, USA|
Address 4821 New Hartford Rd, Owensboro, KY 42303, USA
Western Kentucky University-Owensboro (WKU-O) is a regional campus of Western Kentucky University offering public,post-secondary education. WKU-O offers 23 undergraduate degrees, partnering with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) in a +2 program. Located on U.S. Route 231 directly east of Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) and only minutes south of the Ohio River, WKU-O offers benefits of a university while maintaining personal student/staff relationships and a sense of community.
Western Kentucky University's presence in Owensboro dates to 1969. At that time offices were established on the campus of Kentucky Wesleyan College and classes were conducted at KWC and Brescia University, concentrating primarily on graduate courses. As the demand for a public university alternative in the Daviess County (KY) area increased, undergraduate courses in nursing and education were added to the course schedule. In July, 1980, the WKU-O campus was officially established. As a result of growing enrollment, operations were moved to the Longfellow building immediately north of Owensboro High School, and classes were held there and on the OHS campus. After 16 years at the Longfellow location, increasing enrollment forced another change in venue. In 2005, the WKU-O campus relocated to the main campus of OCTC. Classes were also conducted at the OCTC southeast campus.
In 2007, and agreement between Daviess County fiscal court and Western Kentucky University provided land and earmarked funds for a permanent facility for WKU-O. Phase I of this project, a 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) state-of-the-art facility, was dedicated for use in the spring of 2010. Features include 18 classrooms (6 with IVS capabilities), two conference rooms, one with accommodations for 60(with tables) to 100(without tables), the other suitable for board/conference meetings complete with audio/visual equipment for teleconferencing, a computer lab with 27 work stations, a full service book/gift store, electronic library, several casual seating areas for students, and administrative offices to handle the daily business of running a university campus in house.
As WKU-O enters its 5th decade of operation, plans to expand and provide Daviess County and the surrounding community with a quality public education option are moving forward. The need for higher education in western Kentucky will continue to grow, and so will WKU-O.
At the beginning of the spring, 2010 semester WKU-O moved into a 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2). facility at 4821 New Hartford Road. This building is phase I of a project that will eventually result in the construction of 5 total buildings, parking for 650 vehicles, a courtyard and walkways connecting all buildings, and access from New Hartford Road (already available) and Foors Lane, directly north of the campus. There is no specific time line for these projects, but architect renderings of the completed project are available.
According to an agreement between WKU-O and the community colleges in Owensboro and Madisonville students can now enjoy the benefits of joint admission. Through joint admission, students begin their WKU-O experience while earning their associate degree at OCTC or MCC. Joint students may utilize WKU-O facilities such as the computer lab and electronic library, obtain a WKU-O identification badge which allows admittance to WKU athletic events, and enjoy numerous other benefits. Credits earned at WKU-O and the student's community college transfer between schools upon completion of each semester at no charge to the student. Joint admission offers a smooth transition from the community college to WKU-O. Further information is available by calling (270)684-9797 to speak with an advisor.
WKU-O offers 23 undergraduate degrees, 15 minor degrees, 23 graduate degrees, and 6 graduate certificates. Undergraduate degrees can be earned through a program in which students complete associate degree work at a Kentucky Community and Technical College facility, then transfer to WKU-O for the remaining two years of undergraduate work. The +2 program has proven quite popular and successful. Since the inception of this program in 2005, WKU-O enrollment has increased over 40%. Degrees and certificates are available in education, nursing, and business, to name a few, and new degree opportunities are added each academic year. As of fall,2010 available degrees and certificates are as follows:
Bachelor's degree programs
Master's degree programs
Online graduate certificates
The student body at WKU-O, which began with 82 students, has grown to nearly 1,200. The student body has a strong non-traditional student presence, but the traditional student population grows with each semester. The student enrollment at WKU-O has nearly doubled in the past 5 years, and with the increased exposure and development of an identity that accompanies the new campus facility, the student body is expected to continue to grow at a rapid rate.