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The Commonwealth of Kentucky has nine public colleges and universities, including the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University, as well as numerous independent for and non-profit institutions. Kentucky's institutions are overseen by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which was established in 1997 to coordinate the state's colleges and universities. The council is responsible for developing and implementing programs that deal with college readiness, student success, and efficiency and innovation. It also approves admissions criteria and tuition rates at public schools, as well as all academic programs at public colleges and universities, and ensures the coordination of technology among public institutions. It focuses on eight policies and initiatives, such as academics, adult education, economic development, and virtual learning. The council's virtual learning initiatives include the Kentucky Virtual Campus, which is a one-stop database of online degree programs and the schools that offer them in the state.
Established in 1865, the University of Kentucky serves more than 27,000 students, making it the largest university by enrollment in the state. The university awards bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from its campus in Lexington, Ky. In addition to its on-campus offerings, the University of Kentucky also provides online degrees in communications, education, fine arts, health sciences, nursing, and social work. The college's online degrees include a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical Leadership Management, and a Master of Library and Information Science. The University of Kentucky's online courses are delivered through the Blackboard course management system, which enables students to access class materials, participate in discussions with professors and other students, and submit completed assignments.
The University of Louisville is a public institution that offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in more than 170 fields of study to its nearly 22,000 students at its campus in Louisville, Ky. Through its academic programs the school seeks to facilitate the cultural, intellectual, and economic development of its students and communities by focusing on five key areas, including college accessibility, scholarly activity, and the educational experience. In addition to its on-campus courses, the school offers online bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice, nursing, special education, and civil engineering. The first two years of the university's undergraduate program are designed to be completed through the Kentucky Virtual Campus system, although anyone can transfer into the program if they're coming from a regionally accredited institution.
Western Kentucky University was established as one of two teacher training institutions by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1906. Since it first opened its doors in 1907, the university has grown to become one of the largest schools in the commonwealth. It offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees to its more than 21,000 students at its campuses in Bowling Green, Glasgow, Elizabethtown, and Owensboro, Ky. In addition to its on-campus offerings, which are administered through the university's six colleges, the school also awards associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in business, education, and computer information technology. The university's online degree programs were ranked among the top online bachelor's programs, top online business programs, and the top online education programs by the U.S. News & World Report.