1984 SW campus students

A Rich History

Jefferson Community and Technical College, based in Louisville, Ky., is a comprehensive, public postsecondary institution providing students access to a wide variety of programs of study including allied health, business, engineering technologies, general education transfer studies, information technologies, and trade and industry technologies. It awards associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Jefferson is the largest of 16 colleges forming the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It has six campuses, three in Jefferson County, and one each in Carrollton, Shelby County and Bullitt County. It also offers programs at five Kentucky correctional facilities. Courses also are offered in Oldham County and over the Internet.

Jefferson was created by the consolidation of Jefferson Community College and Jefferson Technical College on July 1, 2005. The colleges merged following the formation of KCTCS  in 1997. KCTCS was created by the passage of the historic House Bill1, also known as the Kentucky Higher Education Reform Act, which transferred the community colleges from the University of Kentucky and the technical colleges from the state and consolidated their oversight in the new system.

Jefferson Community College opened in 1967 as part of the University of Kentucky Community College System.  It first held classes at First and Broadway in Louisville in the former home of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.  The Seminary Building, completed in 1909 and designed by noted architect William J. Dodd, is listed on National Register of Historic Places. The Downtown Campus later grew to five buildings. A sixth, a $25.6 million Allied Health and Nursing Building is scheduled to open in January 2010. Construction began in June 2008.

The Southwest Campus traces its history to 1972 when it opened in leased space at Jesse Stuart High School. In 1980, the current campus opened off Stonestreet Road in southwestern Jefferson County.  The Carrollton Campus opened in 1990, first in a strip shopping mall and later in a renovated department store building in downtown Carrollton. The Shelby County Campus, opened off U.S. 60, in 2002. The newest, Bullitt County, opened in Fall 2008.

All four campuses were the result of tremendous grassroots, community support.  The Southwest Campus, which sits adjacent to the Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare Southwest Medical Center, was begun after community leaders in the area pressed for both the campus and the hospital.  Citing growth in the area plus lack of access to higher education and healthcare, the community was able to entice both entities to the Stonestreet Road location.

The Carrollton Campus was born out of the efforts of government and business leaders who formed the Carroll County Educational Foundation. The Foundation arranged the lease and renovation of both locations the college has had to date, and remains a source of support for the growing campus.

The Shelby County Campus grew from an effort to expand technical education in the community. State funding slated for expansion of a vocation school soon turned into support for a community and technical college campus after the Shelby County Industrial & Development Foundation provided land off U.S. for a campus.    The Foundation, which paid $1.3 million for the land and contributed $300,000 toward construction, considers attracting the campus one of its more significant accomplishments.

While college classes have been offered in Bullitt County for several years, Jefferson launched its newest campus in Fall 2008, the Bullitt County Campus in Shepherdsville. The campus, which currently shares space with other educational entities, offers general education courses.

Jefferson Technical College traces its roots to Aug. 1, 1953, and the formation of the Jefferson County State Vocational-Technical School, operated by the Jefferson County Board of Education.  In 1962, the school moved under the state Board of Education, and in 1964 it moved to a new building in Jeffersontown. In 1997, the school moved to its current location at located at 8th and Chestnut in Downtown Louisville. Then in 1990 it became the Kentucky TECH Jefferson Campus, under the control of the Workforce Development Cabinet.

Finally in 1997, with the creation of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, it became Jefferson Technical College.  In the 2005 consolidation, the technical college became Jefferson Technical Campus.

In Fall 2009, the college had an official enrollment of 14,991 students.  The college offers more than 70 programs of study and 300 degree, diploma and certificate options. Jefferson also has an extensive workforce program that provides customized development and training programs for several hundred companies and nearly 5,000 employees each year.

The growth of the college has occurred under the leadership of Dr. Herbert M. Jelley, Dr. John T. Smith, Dr. Ronald J. Horvath, Dr. Richard Green, Dr. Diane M. Calhoun-French (interim president), Dr. Lawrence W. Tyree (interim president), and under the current leadership of Dr. Anthony L. Newberry, the college’s president and CEO, since 2002.

Chief Administrators

  • Dr. Herbert M. Jelley, Dean, JCC, 1968-1969
  • Dr. John T. Smith, Dean, JCC, 1969-1975
  • Dr. Ronald Horvath, Director/President, Aug 1975-1995.
  • Dr. Richard Green, President, 1995-2001
  • Dr. Diane Calhoun-French, Interim President, July 2001-Feb. 2002
  • Dr. Larry W. Tyree, Interim President, Feb. 2002-July 2002
  • Dr. Anthony L. Newberry, President, July 2002 to present.