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UK Engineering Paducah Campus launches Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology with WKCTC

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 27, 2024) — From cellphones to pacemakers, in today’s smart world, computers are embedded in and are integral to almost everything we do.

Given advancements in technology, society is calling upon engineers to imagine, invent and improve upon these systems that connect our world.

Now, that call is being answered thanks to a unique partnership between the University of Kentucky Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering Extended Campus at Paducah and the West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC).

Starting this summer, students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) through WKCTC and transfer to the UK Engineering Paducah Campus to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Engineering Technology (CET).

The innovative program aims to prepare students to work in a wide range of industries including: aerospace, automotive, consulting, government, health care, manufacturing, industrial equipment design, IT, energy and environmental solutions, and more, with careers in:

  • Designing/maintaining databases and digital systems;
  • developing and testing networks;
  • programming in multiple languages; and
  • automation engineering, applications engineering, control engineering, maintenance engineering, network support engineering, among others.

“The Computer Engineering Technology degree program we are offering in partnership with the West Kentucky Community and Technical College is responding to increasing demand — both locally and globally — for talent in the tech industry,” Rudy Buchheit, Rebecca Burchett Liebert Dean of UK Engineering, said. “It is also equally important and necessary within manufacturing environments as they become increasingly automated and reliant on digital technologies.”

“The partnership between WKCTC and the University of Kentucky College of Engineering allows students to seamlessly complete an associate and bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering Technology,” Renea Akin, WKCTC vice president of Academic Affairs, said. “Ultimately, this collaboration enhances access to higher education and prepares students to meet the evolving needs of the tech industry.”

Registration for summer and fall 2024 classes is now open, with summer classes available from mid-May to early August and fall classes starting August 19.

About the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology

The CET program will provide in-depth knowledge of hardware and software design, development and maintenance. Students will learn industry-standard approaches to application software development and state-of-the-art problem-solving techniques for developing application code and firmware, including networking and web operations.

The curriculum will include classroom instruction and lab experiences where students will gain a strong background in cutting-edge development with programming languages currently used in industry.

Additionally, those in the program will gain an architectural understanding of computer systems from low-level gate design to high-end microprocessors and current bus standards.

“Complementary technologies in data analytics, machine learning, human-machine interaction, intelligent robots, interconnected supply chains and the ability to transmit digital instructions to the physical world — that can run smart, cost-efficient and automated plants — requires a new set of computing skills,” Nelson Akafuah, inaugural chair of the Fujio Cho Department of Engineering Technology, explained. “This degree path will uniquely prepare students to become leaders in this advancing industry.”

CET students spend their first years earning their AAS degree in computer engineering technology at WKCTC’s campus before working toward their bachelor’s degree at UK Engineering’s Paducah campus.

About UK Engineering Paducah Campus

Boasting more than 44,000 square feet of teaching and research facilities, the UK Engineering Paducah Campus offers studies leading to bachelor’s degrees from UK in mechanical engineering and chemical engineering.

The Paducah Campus also offers professional certificates in aerospace engineering, automotive production engineering and environmental engineering.

The degree programs — created out of a need to retain talent in the area — not only add to the range of opportunities for students, but also meet the regional need for professional engineers in the highly industrialized part of the Commonwealth.

More than 500 students have graduated from the Paducah Campus, with an estimated direct economic impact on Western Kentucky of more than $25 million annually. Two thirds of their graduates also remain in the Western Kentucky area.

As the Paducah campus recently celebrated their 25th year, Y. Charles Lu, the H.E. Katterjohn Professor in Engineering and director of the Paducah Campus, said the CET program is a remarkable new addition.

This achievement is indeed remarkable, since this is the very first new academic program in the school’s 25-year history. It will have a huge impact on businesses, industries and students in the region,” he continued. “I also want to express my deepest gratitude to the local community for supporting this new program. Without their generous support, it would not have been possible.”

More Information, Apply Today

The degree pathways are part of the Work Ready Kentucky (WRKS) scholarship program at WKCTC, which is open to Kentucky residents with a high school diploma or students working on their GED.

To learn more visit workreadykentucky.com.

The college also offers the WKCTC Adult Promise Scholarship and the MacKenzie Scott Opportunities Scholarship.

Additionally, financial aid is available at WKCTC for qualifying students. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov. Students with questions can contact 270-534-3467 or email wk-financialaid@kctcs.edu.

More information about the CET program can be found here (WKCTC) and here (UK Paducah).  

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