With multiple choices in both public and private schools, families enjoy one constant— quality in both instruction and performance. Dual enrollment and AP participation rates are strong and climbing in both public and private systems; students can also get a head start by “getting their feet wet” with the applied and immersive technical learning offered by Paducah’s Innovation Hub. Open to all students across the region, the Innovation Hub puts students on the scene to get in the know, whether studying healthcare at local hospitals or learning welding on truckable barges.

"The Innovation Hub was designed with equity and access for every child. It is aligned to Paducah’s economic development strategic plan.  In the facility, we provide real world hands on experiences to ensure we are teaching the competencies needed for the 21st century workforce." 

Donald Shively, EdD, Superintendent
Paducah Independent School District


A ready, skilled workforce and a knowledgeable populace are also supported by a portfolio of higher educational assets including:

  • Murray State University, Paducah Campus—Ranked by both Forbes and U.S. News as one of the South’s top universities, Murray State offers nearly a dozen undergraduate and multiple Master’s programs at the Paducah campus, with flexible class times and formats that solve the “college” + “convenience” equation.
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College—Known for outstanding skill-building at all levels, WKCTC is an all-ages resource, offering a variety of learning programs as well as accommodating schedules for working adults. WKCTC is a key career resource: Former students include a Kentucky governor, a history-making SEC basketball coach who broke the racial barrier, and a co-founder and CEO of a healthcare corporation with revenues now exceeding $6 billion.
  • University of Kentucky College of Engineering, Paducah Campus—In a collaborative effort with WKCTC, UK’s highly respected College of Engineering offers studies leading to Bachelor’s Degrees in Mechanical as well as Chemical Engineering.
  • Other area universities—Four top-rated universities within 73 miles or less include Murray State University’s Main Campus (46 miles), Southeast Missouri University’s Main Campus (73 miles); Southern Illinois University Main Campus (68 mile) and University of Tennessee Martin Campus (62 miles).



Easy access to higher education is only one reason life-long learners love it in Paducah. There is a rich environment of arts and culture in this UNESCO Creative City, on-going events and activities stimulate new insights, keeping residents attuned to new possibilities and new experiences. Learning is an art and an everyday adventure here—that’s the power of Paducah to make life better informed and better lived at every stage.


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