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Bardstown High School is one of 10 public high schools in Kentucky selected by the University of Kentucky to participate in the UK Next Generation Scholars Network. The network will allow students to earn both high school and college credit while expanding college access. 

Currently, Bardstown High School offers 41 unique dual credit classes through Murray State University, Western Kentucky University, the University of Louisville and ECTC. The Next Generation Scholars Network is unlike current dual credit programs the high school has in place. Through this new program juniors and seniors can become UK Next Generation Scholars, taking “live” UK classes in which college instructors help teach the courses via interactive video.

“With our focus on academic excellence and commitment to innovation, this partnership with the University of Kentucky is a perfect match for us,” said Dr. Ryan P. Clark, Superintendent of Bardstown City Schools.  “Our students will save money but, more importantly, the direct involvement of our staff in this offering will better prepare students that choose a path to college.” 

Typically, in dual credit courses, a high school instructor teaches the college material, but the UK model partners college faculty with high school teachers and allows for virtual “face-to-face” instruction. Bardstown students taking dual credit courses from UK will also have an advisor from the UK Next Generation Leadership Academy who checks in on their progress, helps complete college applications and supporting materials, and promotes a successful transition to college.

“The collaboration will add a dimension to BHS’s college credit catalogue unlike any other that is currently offered,” said Chris Pickett, principal of Bardstown High School. “The wrap-around support not only provides for great instruction, but also will allow students to take more of a leadership role in their learning while working with an actual college professor.”

The dual credit approach was developed by the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership at the UK College of Education.

In the decade since the center began at UK, hundreds of Kentucky school leaders have worked with the center to redesign the school experience for contemporary life, learning, and careers.

“Schools are paying particular attention to what it takes to prepare students to meet the demands of a fast-changing career landscape,” said Lu Young, Center for Next Generation Leadership Executive Director and associate clinical professor in the UK College of Education. “School leaders who are part of the UK Center for Next Generation Leadership Network tell us they joined the effort to help all students develop 21st century skills and have a smoother transition to college and careers, and we see dual credit as a way to help pave that path.”

Bardstown High School will start UK’s dual credit program in August 2020 along with five other Kentucky schools, including: Fleming County High School, Lawrence County High School, Logan County High School, Somerset Independent High School, and Trimble County High School. Four schools are currently serving as pilot sites for the dual credit initiative: Paris Independent High School, Marshall County High School, Elkhorn Crossing School in Scott County, and STEAM Academy in Fayette County.

Bardstown High School plans to offer the following the following college courses from UK for the 2020-2021 school year:
  • MA 109 College Algebra
  • MUS 100 Introduction to Music
  • EES  110 Endangered Planet: An Introduction to Environmental Geology
  • CIS 110 Composition and Communication I

Next Gen Scholars will apply for admission to UK as non-degree seeking students. When fully implemented, students will be able to take up to 10 UK courses while at Bardstown High School. The UK courses will be delivered both online and by high school teachers who have been trained by UK faculty to teach the curricula. Tuition for courses in the dual credit program are greatly reduced and are in alignment with state determined dual credit rates.

UK dual credit courses are developed and offered primarily by UK academic departments with the support of local high school staff. UK colleges contributing to the available courses include:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Communication and Information
  • College of Design
  • College of Education

Additional information about UK’s dual credit program can be found at

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