Gateway Community & Technical College engages, connects, and inspires all students through education to successfully champion our region’s competitive workforce and improve their quality of life.
Gateway Community & Technical College is a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and is a public two-year degree-granting institution serving the Northern Kentucky Region.
Gateway Community & Technical College will remove barriers and provide access to engaging education to change lives and build a better tomorrow.
Northern Kentucky Technical College was formed from three forerunner schools in 1997 following the passage of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act (Act). Northern Kentucky Technical College subsequently evolved into Gateway Community & Technical College. The three schools that eventually merged to become Gateway were Northern Kentucky State Vocational School, Northern Campbell Vocational School, and Henry E. Pogue IV Health Occupations Center. In 2003, The Gateway Foundation was founded when the college reconstituted a dormant foundation that was associated with one of the vocational campuses prior to the creation of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).
Northern Kentucky State Vocational School
This school traced its origins to 1939 when Distributive Education began to be taught in Kenton County high schools. Additional programs were offered in 1940 when the National Defense Training Program Legislation became effective to provide skilled labor for national defense. James A. Caywood, then superintendent of Kenton County schools, was instrumental in organizing a multi-county effort to address the urgent need for trained workers. Clifford H. Ficke, who had been active in Distributive Education, was appointed coordinator. He formed an advisory committee chaired by Al Whitehouse. The first class of about 40 students was set up in July 1940, and by August 32 classes involving about 800 students were being held in any available space in Newport, Erlanger, Covington, Ludlow and Fort Thomas.
As training demand grew, the Kenton County Fiscal Court in 1941 purchased the old Post Office Building at Park Place and Scott in downtown Covington for the Kenton County Vocational School. More than 1,000 students enrolled in defense-related technical areas. In late 1943, attention began to turn to the post-war future of vocational education. Caywood and Ficke led an initiative to gain state support for a local vocational school. John Shepherd, the board of education’s attorney, prepared a bill sponsored by Representative Sylvester Wagner and Senator Alex Howard. The legislation passed effective in June 1944. The state began operating the school seven months later. In January 1945, the name was changed to Northern Kentucky State Vocational School.
Around 1959, the search began for an adequate site to build a new facility. With the help of John J. Molony, then Mayor of Covington, a tract of land on a hilltop overlooking the City of Covington was found. On March 11, 1961, Governor Bert Combs and Wendell Butler, Superintendent of Public Instruction, broke ground for the new school. The facility was dedicated in mid-June 1962, and classes began July 1. A second building was added in 1968 to accommodate increased enrollment and additional programs.
In 1968, the State Board of Education and the Bureau of Vocational Education redefined the regional boundaries for Vocational Education. The school was renamed the Northern Kentucky Area Vocational School and served 13 counties. Facilities in Maysville and Carrollton served the eastern and western edges of the region. In May 1970, a new director, James D. Patton, was appointed. In 1971, under his leadership, a Regional Advisory Committee for the Northern Area was appointed by the State Board of Education. The committee recommended adding four vocational facilities to serve secondary students in Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties. The Northern Kentucky Area Vocational School then returned to its original purpose of serving postsecondary and adult students. Between 1971 and 1997, the school operated with this focus, in later years under the aegis of the Workforce Development Cabinet, serving the training needs of Northern Kentucky students and employers.
Northern Campbell State Vocational-Technical School
The Henry E. Pogue IV Health Occupations Center
More commonly known as the Northern Kentucky Health Occupations Center, the school opened in the fall of 1983 and graduated its first group of completers in the spring of 1984. The center offered postsecondary programs for adults and extension programs for working adults. It was operated by the state through the Department for Adult and Technical Education, a division of the Cabinet for Workforce Development. Early program offerings included medical assisting, medical office technology, pharmacy technology and practical nursing.
Transformation to Gateway Community & Technical College