Owensboro Community and Technical College is a unique blend of three institutions.
The Community's College
Owensboro Community College first opened its doors as a branch of Henderson Community College. Due to significant growth and with considerable push from the community--namely the Citizens Committee on Education--Owensboro Community College was founded as the fourteenth community college in the University of Kentucky Community College System in July of 1986. Under the leadership of president James McDannel the college grew quickly, and moved to its current 104 acre campus in 1989. John McGuire was named as the second president of OCC in 1991. In 1997 the College became a member of the newly created Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
The Technical Side
Owensboro Trade School was opened as the first trade school in the area by C.F. Criley in a 60’x40’ garage in 1929. By 1931 enrollment had increased, and in order to add more programs, the school was moved into a building formerly known as the Owensboro Female College. Eight years later, it was razed and a new school was opened in 1941. It was transferred to the State Department of Education in 1957 and operated by the Office of Vocational Education as an institution for both high school students and adults, with leadership transferred to the Owensboro Board of Education. The 1960s and 1970s saw an increasing demand for vocational programs. The Daviess County State Vocational Technical School, the second state owned and operated such school in the area, opened in 1971. The Owensboro Vocational School building was razed and a new school (the third on the site) opened in 1977. With the forming of the Cabinet for Workforce Development in 1991, the two schools were made a part of Kentucky Tech System. With the passage of the Kentucky Postsecondary Improvement Act of 1997, these two postsecondary schools became Owensboro Technical College, a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, in July 1998.
Consolidation and KCTCS
As part of the KCTCS initiative to consolidate the services provided by its colleges at the local level and in response to a long held community belief in the need for one public college, the two colleges began the process of consolidation in 1999, led by OCC President Jacqueline Addington in partnership with Sandra Appling, the interim director of Owensboro Technical College. The KCTCS Board of Regents approved a Memorandum of Agreement on the consolidation of the colleges’ functions, services, and programs in September 2000. This resulted in the submission of a Prospectus for Substantive Change to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It was accepted in June 2002, with final approval in June 2003.
Owensboro Community and Technical College offers the associate in arts degree, the associate in fine arts, the associate in visual art, the associate in science degree, the associate in applied science degree, and diplomas and certificates in technical programs. General arts and sciences programs designed to provide the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program and career-oriented programs designed to prepare students for immediate technical or semi-professional employment are available to students. The college offers continuing education programs that include workforce training for business and industry and community education opportunities. The college serves Owensboro, Kentucky, and the surrounding area, including Daviess, Hancock, Ohio, and McLean Counties. With a total population of approximately 140,000, the area has traditionally relied on agriculture, mining, and manufacturing as its economic foundations. However, recent changes have promoted a transition toward a service oriented economy and efforts toward economic diversification. Featuring cultural opportunities unusual for communities of similar size, the area also benefits from strong community leadership in support of education.