When it comes to quality, Kentucky’s Head Start programs have received a very high ranking.  A Head Start administrator says a commitment to intense training is a major key to success.  Since 1965, Head Start has been offering free early childhood education and other services to low income families. 

Just last week, the National Institute for Early Education Research ranked Kentucky number two in program quality, second only to Vermont. 

A new national report is showing a slight decline in College enrollment.  Statewide figures show enrollment at Kentucky's public universities remains strong.  

Stu Johnson WEKU News

The Lexington school district is using career coaches to help students make successful transitions to life after high school.  Fayette School Board members this week got an update on the program implemented at the beginning of the school year. 

Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball player Jaylen Babb-Harrison has been charged with first degree rape.   According to the Lexington Herald Leader, the 23-year-old is being held at the Madison County Detention Center. 


Eastern Kentucky University student-athlete Tyler Swafford had a tough day on the football field Saturday.  But as WEKU’S John Hingsbergen reports, the 21-year-old received some very good news later that day. 

Tyler Swafford has been notified that he will receive one of this year’s 12 George Mitchell scholarships. The Brentwood Tennessee native, was among more than 300 who applied for the honor that provides a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland. 

Stu Johnson

Eastern Kentucky University student athlete Tyler Swafford’s got a whirlwind schedule this Saturday. He’s making a trip to the nation’s capital for a scholarship interview before trotting out onto the field in Richmond to lead his team.

The redshirt sophomore quarterback is vying for a Mitchell Scholarship. His interview is set for 8:30 a.m. in Washington. He’s one of 20 finalists in the national competitive scholarship program sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance. If awarded one of the 12 scholarships, he'll spend a year studying in Ireland.

Some students in Fayette County high schools will be going through metal detectors later this month.  The school administration announced new safety policies Tuesday.

Over the past 12 days, three Lexington area students were caught bringing guns to Tates Creek High School.  Earlier this week, another student brought a BB gun to Bryan Station Middle School.

Eastern Kentucky University officials say the school’s freshmen retention rate is at its highest level ever, at almost 75 percent.  The data was mentioned during a Board of Regents meeting Monday.

Eastern Vice President Laurie Carter also told board members that, in addition to an all-time high in retaining freshman, four andfive-year graduation rates continue to rise.  Overall enrollment at the school based in Richmond remains steady at roughly 17,000 students.

EKU Teacher, Student Stay Connected for Decades

Oct 24, 2016

Two eastern Kentucky men, years apart in age, have maintained an educational and professional career connection for decades. That connection was recognized at Eastern Kentucky University’s 2016 homecoming festivities.

6000 Fayette 9th and 10th Graders Take PSAT

Oct 19, 2016

Virtually all ninth and tenth graders in Lexington public schools are taking the PSAT this week.  School officials say more than 6000 students took the preliminary college entry exam Wednesday.

Fayette school officials say the district is the first in Kentucky to pay for the test for all freshmen and sophomores.  On average, 344 students take what’s been called the practice SAT each year. It and the ACT are both well-known college entrance exams. 

Mold Concerns Close KSU Dorm

Oct 10, 2016

Kentucky State University officials are temporarily closing a residence hall to address mold issues.  The closing affects some 90 students on the Frankfort campus.

Mold had been discovered late last week in some dormitory rooms of Chandler Residence Hall.  Upon further inspection, KSU officials decided to close the entire building for cleaning.  Students are being moved out and permanently housed in Combs Hall.

Kentucky’s state board of education is expected to take a deeper look at charter schools during a special meeting in November.

The board decided Wednesday to conduct a more thorough review of the highly-debated educational option. 

Richard Innes with the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy says statistical reviews show charter school programs can help reduce academic achievement gaps.  

EKU Senior Serves on Higher Ed Policy Group

Oct 4, 2016

An Eastern Kentucky University senior from Hollywood, Florida is making his mark on Kentucky’s higher education policy organization.  The political science major is serving on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Madison Students Schooled in Financial Reality

Oct 4, 2016
Stu Johnson

A large group of Madison County 8th graders have been schooled in adulthood budgetary decision making.  Monday brought a dose of reality at the ‘Reality Store’ at Eastern Kentucky University.

The students are assigned a profession and then set about making decisions about everything from a car purchase to daycare to groceries, based on estimated earnings.

Educators at Kentucky’s Community and Technical Colleges and universities are establishing a new strategy for incoming freshmen with below-benchmark academic achievement scores. Officials from Kentucky schools gathered last week at Eastern Kentucky University.

Participants at the Kentucky Association for Developmental Education conference focused on corequisite course work. A corequisite is a course of study required to be taken simultaneously with another.

Eastern Kentucky School Scores Test Gains

Sep 29, 2016

A high school in far Eastern Kentucky tops the list of high schools making gains in student test scores.  Phelps High School scored 17 points higher than other schools in a just-released statewide testing report.

Phelps Principal Mike Hamilton says it’s not a “magic potion” but “buckling down” that led to higher test scores.  He says setting aside a half hour daily for targeted instruction has been helpful. 

Student Test Scores Show Progress

Sep 29, 2016

Just-released testing data from the Kentucky Department of Education show gains in a number of areas.  The state’s chief education administrator admits progress doesn’t eliminate the need for future improvement.

High school graduation rates, along with college/career readiness continue to go up.  State officials say the number of schools and districts performing at the highest levels are up from last year. 

Modifying College Drinking Through Online Program

Sep 27, 2016

A national organization promoting responsible drinking is testing a web-based alcohol consumption tool for college-aged groups.  It was one topic for discussion at the state’s first Campus Safety Summit last week in Richmond.

The Failsafe on-line program is designed to help student leaders shape group behavior around alcohol consumption.  The website tool is being piloted at ten schools across the U.S. this fall.

Eastern Kentucky University officials are seeing improving graduation rates at the Richmond school.  The aim remains to hit the 50 percent mark.

Various positions regarding ‘concealed weapons’ have been discussed at Eastern Kentucky University Friday, during the first Campus Safety Summit.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has reviewed details about campus building projects totaling more than $2 billion. There were also lighter moments in his Thursday speech to Lexington Rotarians. 

Capilouto talked about how the historic construction on the Lexington campus has meant thousands of jobs and millions in state and local tax revenues. 

Repairs Underway on EKU Pedway

Sep 15, 2016
Stu Johnson

Reconstruction work is progressing on a pedestrian walkway adjacent to the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. A contractor hopes to see the affected roadway reopen next week.

A commercial truck with a raised hydraulic lift plowed into the overhead walkway Friday.  Danny Price is Vice President of Contractor E.C. Matthews. He says removal work this week will hopefully pave the way for re-opening a portion of Lancaster Avenue next week.

A Berea College administrator has offered testimony about the cost of college education to a congressional committee in Washington.  Much of the questioning Tuesday focused on student debt.

Berea College is known nationally for its "no student paid" tuition with a "student work required" philosophy. 

WEKU News - Eastern Kentucky University

A panel comprised of public university presidents, legislative representatives and officials from Governor Matt Bevin’s office is continuing to work on plans to implement partial performance funding for higher education in Kentucky.  The Performance Funding Work Group meets Wednesday in Frankfort.

The University of Kentucky will benefit from the latest gift from a foundation tied to a Lexington auto dealership.

A $10 million gift from the Don Jacobs Charitable Foundation, announced Tuesday, means further investment in undergraduate science education at UK.  A majority of the contribution, $8 million, will go toward the new academic science building that now bears the name Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building.  Don Jacobs, well-known in Lexington, passed away last spring.

Lexington 5th Graders Get Keeneland Experience

Aug 25, 2016
Stu Johnson-WEKU News


The Keeneland Race Track is offering a classroom experience for hundreds of Lexington area students.  School children are being educated this week on the finer points of the historic facility, and Keeneland officials hope the youngsters become racing fans.

Hundreds of excited fifth graders started their morning in the sales pavilion.  When it came time for a mock horse auction, everyone got quiet.

Work Begins on Berea Forest Outreach Center

Aug 22, 2016


Construction is set to begin on an Outreach Center at a popular Madison County trail area. The new facility will help introduce visitors to the history of Berea College’s Forest.

The 5,000 square foot structure is being built near the Indian Fort Trail.  It’s expected to include space to offer a curated description of the College Forest. 

EKU Regents Consider Suspending Academic Programs

Aug 19, 2016


This year's tight financial situation is causing Eastern Kentucky University officials to consider suspending a total of 21 academic programs.  Senior Vice President for Academics and Provost Janna Vice brought the matter before the Board of Regents during a special meeting Thursday.

The proposed cuts are only recommendations at this point.  The discussion is, in part, due to a $7 million budget reduction planned for the 2017/18 fiscal year.  Any decision to suspend the academic programs would not affect current students. 

John Hingsbergen

As faculty and staff prepare for the Fall Academic Term, Eastern Kentucky University’s President gave his annual convocation address yesterday. Dr. Michael Benson projected an upbeat attitude about the school’s present and future.    

Kentucky Schools Offered Opioid Blocker

Aug 15, 2016


With classes underway in many sections of Kentucky, school officials are considering stocking a life-saving drug.  It is being used to reverse the effects of an opioid related overdose.