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2004-07-16 Interview with Charles Wade, July 16, 2004 2004OH107 KH 692 1:04:27 CC001 Community Colleges of Kentucky Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries University of Kentucky. Community College System Kentucky Community and Technical College System Charles Wade; interviewee Adina O'Hara; interviewer 2004OH107_KH692_Wade_Access 1:|10(5)|21(4)|34(1)|45(7)|56(2)|69(7)|80(3)|90(10)|106(3)|120(11)|135(9)|152(1)|164(7)|183(9)|195(7)|211(4)|229(15)|243(13)|254(8)|281(8)|295(4)|309(3)|327(7)|344(5)|365(15)|384(10)|395(11)|407(9)|423(7)|437(5)|457(1)|469(5)|480(12)|491(7)|507(4)|518(4)|530(12)|542(8)|557(8)|568(5)|583(1)|596(7)|609(2)|625(8)|640(4)|655(2)|679(4)|694(12)|718(8)|728(9)|742(3)|754(11)|765(12)|794(3)|806(1)|814(8)|827(13)|842(6)|859(2)|871(10)|886(7)|902(2)|914(7)|945(17) audiotrans Legit interview O'HARA: This is an unrehearsed interview with Dr. Charles Wade at his home in Frankfort, Kentucky on July 16, 2004, conducted by Adina O'Hara. Dr. Wade, in the 1962 legislative session, a community college bill was passed authorizing the UK Board of Trustees to govern a system of community colleges. While we know the outcomes of those talks about creating a community college system, we do not know the role of technical education in the establishment of the community colleges or what was going on with technical education in Kentucky during those years, in the early 1960s. Please explain the relationship between the community colleges and the state's post- secondary technical education centers in the early 1960s. WADE: Uh, while there's been a lot of, um, discussion about there being conflicts of interest and duplication, there has not been that much. Uh, at, at least early on, partially because community colleges were established in a way that could be viewed by some as, what I would call junior colleges. They, they had a higher intensity of work in the, uh, um, academic field and transfer programs. And, uh, the technical schools were started around non-degree programs, they basically were non-degree until two or three years ago. Most of those, most of those schools were diploma and certificate programs. And they were strictly occupational in nature. Um, for the most part they were not transferable, although there were a number of efforts and energies put into working out, um, programs that would allow you to transfer from one, one area to another. And some of those carried credit into the college level. But, but initially there was not that much of a conflict. Now what happened, as you moved into the occupations that were like the health field, and the business field and in some of those areas, there became, a a cross-over, because the community colleges were training people even with an associate degree to be legal secretaries. And, and the technical schools without a degree were training people to be legal secretaries, for example. So there became -- began to be some kind of duplication there. But, initially, uh initially, I don't think there was. I think, uh, the establishment of the community colleges was to expand, uh, academic education throughout the Commonwealth. To give people an opportunity to go to school without having to pickup from where they live and move to a, a, to a campus. The technical schools had as an objective to put a vocational school within twenty-five miles of every citizen of Kentucky. Now that wasn't what we called the regional centers or the main state vocational schools or what is now called, uh, technical colleges. It included those, but it also included a group of satellite schools. They've been, they've been called satellite schools, extension centers and they're now called area technology centers. The area technology centers are still operated by the workforce development -- I think it's now called a department, uh, and under the, uh, the, uh, old department of tech ed, which is now the Office of Technical Education. So they're still operated that way, as well as some of those that transferred over to, uh, local boards of education, but the major post-secondary part of the school transferred, of course, to KCTCS in 1998 as a result of the 1997 post-secondary expansion. Does that give you a -- kind of anything else you -- that keys on? O'HARA: Oh, yeah, that helps me understand some of the background. Were the, um -- so in the 1960s, early 1960s, were there both secondary and post-secondary technical centers or institutes? Was both levels offered at that time or was it primarily a high school-level technical? WADE: Oh, it was post-secondary, as well as high school. As far as I know, uh, most to all of these schools whether they were -- and the distinction is the difference in those schools was that, what we call the regional centers, uh, they were -- and now the tech colleges -- they were state-owned facilities. The facilities, the equipment and all the people in them, were, were state-owned. These area technology centers, um, at one time, I guess there were probably ninety of them -- nah, not that many, uh, probably, uh, fifty or sixty of them -- those were local board-owned facilities such as the ones in Fayette County. The, the board always owned the building, always owned the property, uh, but the, the people who operated it were state employees. So, the distinction between the area center and the state schools that we called them in those days was who owned the property, and some of those, uh, state schools like in Somerset and Harlan were heavily, uh, populated with secondary students. Uh, in some of the others, such as in Mayo and Prestonsburg, uh, was pretty much post-secondary, so you had a variety. One thing I didn't, didn't touch on initially was that some people have thought that technical education was a recent, um, start-up in Kentucky, as recent as four years ago or something, but actually the vocational school in Paducah, which was, I think at that time, it was called the West Kentucky Vocational School for Negroes was started in nineteen and thirty-eight, and so was the Mayo Vocational School in Prestonsburg. 1938. At the same time, uh, the city of Louisville started Aaron's Trade School, which is downtown. That's about 1938, something like that and it was always a comprehensive high school but it was a -- and it, and it was for secondary students. Now they may have had post-secondary students at night or adults at night. But those three schools were kind of the beginning of the vocational system, if you will. And, it, it started slowly, and I think it was 1944 when the Northern Kentucky Technical School started, and then in 1962, a major event occurred. A lot of schools had been developed across the country, across the state, that were, um, veteran schools after World War II. And several of those were started by local boards of education and they used the GI bills to help for the, for the, uh, students to pay tuition to go to school. And, uh, it was in 1962 that, uh, seven of these schools transferred to the state, to the state board of education and became part of the system. Now what I don't have is when they actually began because they probably started somewhere in the, in the late forties, uh, to, to do veteran's training. You're familiar with veteran's training? O'HARA: Yes. WADE: Uh, these schools were Ashland, Harlan, Hazard, Jeffersontown, Madisonville, Somerset and Bowling Green. So all of a sudden, just bloom, overnight with one act of the State Board of Education. And, and this was as was requested by the local board, because they didn't have the resources to continue to, uh, to offer these programs for post-secondary students. Their business was teaching, you know, at that time, grades one through twelve, and so they just didn't have the resources to do this, so the state took over the operation and that joined in with the, the schools at Prestonsburg and Paducah and, uh, also the one at Northern Kentucky. So now you've got, uh -- all of a sudden you've got ten schools, ten regions that started in 1962. O'HARA: So, in Paducah and in, um, Mayo were those schools originally started, um, from local, like, municipal taxpayer's monies or were they state-operated? WADE: They were state-operated, uh, but, uh -- and they were established by the state legislature. Uh, a lot of the schools that we have now are not -- some of them were just named by the, the state board of education. Some of them were established by the legislature, and that includes Mayo and the west Kentucky -- it, it was called -- I'm looking at something here -- it was called the West Kentucky Vocational Training School at Paducah, but originally it was, it was for black students. And, uh, then the Northern Kentucky school was established by the state legislature. So when these other seven came in, they were just accepted by the state board of education, so they were not established under, under the laws of the state legislature. O'HARA: That's fascinating though -- in 1962, the same legislative session that the community college act was passed in. WADE: Right. Then in 1963, you, we talked about that earlier, that was the Vocational Education Act of 1963. Uh, there was another amendment to it in 1968 and, uh, those were heavily influenced by Congressman Carl Perkins from Kentucky, from Hindman. And, Congressman Perkins -- actually, he has the Perkins Act now named after him, but it doesn't resemble much of what it did. (laughs) He had -- what he -- he had a lot more influence on the Vo-Ed Act of '63 and '68 than he did of the act that's named after him. Um, I met him the first time at a vocational education AVA [editor's note: American Vocational Association] meeting in Minnesota and was talking to him, uh, and found out that he had a horse farm over in Scott County where I was a teacher. (both laugh). I didn't know, I didn't know it, he told me. O'HARA: You have to go halfway around the world to meet the people next door. WADE: I did know that, uh, I did know that his n-- his niece, Virginia Craft, who was Whitney Craft's sister. Whitney was head of vo-ed, uh, much later, but I did know that Virginia Craft taught at Scott County and, and she was one of the teachers that I taught with, so I, I knew something about Congressman Perkins. But, he and Mr. E.P. Hilton, um, had a great deal of influence on the Vocational Act of '63 that created, uh, a situation that allowed us to develop those area devel-- uh, the area centers, uh, because it was the first time that it provided federal funds for the construction of the facilities. Uh, I have a chart here that you can, you can use, take with you and, and, um, look at it. I'm not going to read all into it, but you know, vo-ed started, and, uh, if you t-- if you take the nineteen, uh -- 1862 first and second Morrill Act, Morrill Acts of Land-Grant Colleges, that was really vocational education, because it was training of agricultural mechanics and agriculture experiment station. So that's, that's basically -- uh, in 1917, it was the Smith-Hughes Act, which is attributed as being the first part of vocational education and it created agriculture trade and industry and home economics as instructional programs. Uh, I, I guess the, um, Purnell Act added funding for agriculture experiment stations in 1925. Nineteen thirty- six was something called the George Dean Act, and it, it supported all the previously identified programs, but added distributive education and it also added the territories and Districts of Columbia to be eligible recipients. Um, another interesting thing is the American Vocational Association, which is the national organiza-- professional organization, was actually established -- uh, was created -- had its first organizational meeting in Louisville in 1925. O'HARA: Oh my goodness! WADE: So -- O'HARA: Way ahead of it. WADE: So, Kentucky was, was ahead of the game in a lot of, in a lot of areas. The George-Barden Act of 1946, um, which began the period of post-war veterans training. It has created greater flexibility for the use of federal funds and increased the funding that would allow for guidance, research and other services, that, uh, prior to that had just been program costs so you could then do the kind of thing -- guidance and, and some of the other services. And some of the money could go to the colleges and universities for research. In 1956, the George-Barden Act added practical nurse training, and for a long time that was the only health program that you could do with federal funding from, from vocational education. The, um, Bard-- George-Barden Act that was Title II, and it -- in 1958, the Title III of that act, uh, allowed, uh -- this was a reaction to Sputnik. You know about Sputnik? You -- O'HARA: Yes. (laughs) Read about it! WADE: And its desire to train highly skilled technicians and uh, Kentucky was the second state to receive any funds, any of those funds. Now, you know, at about that time, in 1962, the MDTA starts, that's the Manpower Development Training Act. It has been followed by CETA, JTPA and basically is a predecessor to WIA although there were changes in this, it's still a manpower training program and that's, that's how those things progressed. O'HARA: Fascinating. WADE: Uh, it was in, uh, 1963 then when we had the Vo-Ed Act and the West Kentucky School's new industrial education classroom was constructed at that time, so -- now that moved, oh gosh, early in the seventies, the old school at West Kentucky was abandoned -- it became one of the regional offices, but it was abandoned and the new school, which is located now on the joint campus, which was Paducah Community College and is now the West Kentucky Community and Technical College. And, th-- those schools were built on the same campus for a reason. And that was that initially, they -- everybody thought they were eventually going to be merged. O'HARA: Really? WADE: Yeah. I mean, there's about a quarter of a mile between the two. You, you can walk across there. You can walk across there a lot easier than you can get from one place to the other on UK campus, that's for sure. O'HARA: That's true. WADE: And, uh, and then in -- oh gosh, this was, um, this was in the nineties when they built a health building there that was jointly used by both schools. And it's about halfway in between the two schools. Um -- O'HARA: Speaking, speaking of that, um, the idea that -- was it the idea of technical education, um, in the sixties, um, that, or just kind of a state-wide idea that these two systems might, at some point, collaborate closely or, or even merge. I'm curious about, about what the thought were back in the sixties. WADE: Well, I didn't actually -- well, I worked a year at UK before I came to the State Department of Education, and I worked for the research coordinating unit, which was in the old training school, uh, university high school building, and, um -- but when I came to, to the department of education, my feeling was that they needed to be separate entities. But over a short period of years, I began to realize that, uh, personally, that they needed to be ----------(??), and from my standpoint, I think KCTCS may prove to be the most important venture of everything that happened in the, uh, Post-Secondary Education Reform Act of 1997. Um, now --(laughs)-- I went to -- I testified before a, uh, committee of the legislature back in -- I guess it would have been in '97, and they kept asking me where should the area centers go? Should they transfer to KCTCS, should they go back to local boards of education or should they remain a separate system? Which is what they did, at least now -- and, um, I gave about a ten or fifteen-minute history of the area technology centers. I've got that somewhere. I can -- If I can find it, I could let you have that. O'HARA: Oh, that would be fascinating. WADE: But when I did that, somebody -- one of the legislators asked me, "Okay, what do you think should happen?" And I'm sorry to do this on your tape, but it was a -- O'HARA: Unh-uh. WADE: -- it just came, it just came -- O'HARA: Please. WADE: -- as a natural because it was something that was, I had heard one of our former state superintendents say. He said, "Well, you know, some of my friends think the schools ought to go with KCTCS, some of my friends think they ought to stay independent, and some of my friends think they go back to the department of education and become local board-operated. And I'm with my friends. (O'Hara laughs) So -- O'HARA: That's a good answer! WADE: Um, but to be perfectly honest, uh, I, I, I think eventually the area technology centers have to be local board-operated, those that are, those that are, uh, providing training to, uh, to secondary students. Now, that's not what my friend Abel Jessie would say, who's heading that school and he lives right over here by --(both laugh)-- not too far. I walk by his house every day. But it's, it's interesting, you know, those centers -- because originally when the area centers were developed, the feeling was that most local school districts didn't have the resources. They didn't have the, they didn't have the professional ability, uh, you know. They, they knew the superintendent, the principals and so forth, they knew how to deal with, uh, math and science and social studies. And some of them didn't have enough money to produce, uh, biology labs and chemistry labs, much less, couldn't believe how costly a machine shop would be. I mean, they, they just couldn't understand how that would be so costly. And some of them today don't understand how costly it is to actually operate a carpentry program. You, you can't build buildings with match sticks and -- I mean, you've, you've got to have lumber, you've got to have -- you've got to be able to saw things, you've got to be able to do things and, and you can't teach people to, to build houses by building sheds. They've got to build houses. It's, it's very, very costly, and for the most part, the secondary schools didn't have the resources, they didn't have the people, and so that's why those centers became started, uh, uh, pretty much as state-operated. The other, the other reason was we also had a lot of independent small high schools in the state, particularly in eastern Kentucky. You've got a lot of counties, and, and, multiple, multiple high schools. And, and how many of those students want to be carpenters? Well, probably not enough to have a class full. So, what was happening, an area center was established so that it served multiple high schools and you bussed the students in there and there might be two from this high school, and four from that one, and one from this one who wanted be in the same program. It was an interesting thing when I first came to the department; people were asking, "How do these kids get along in those classes?" I mean, they'd played football and basketball and they'd growl at each other --(O'Hara laughs)-- and you know they're competitive. But for the most part, you never had any -- never any problem. I remember Bourbon County High School was sending students to Harrison County. And they were fierce competitors, but it didn't seem to matter. I mean, you know, it -- they were there. Another major interesting thing, to me -- see I'd been a high school teacher, not a -- I'd been a, uh, an agriculture teacher -- O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: -- so I had a degree and a teaching certificate, and I didn't understand all the things that were going on in the t-- uh, in the, uh, trades and industry areas. And, I -- but -- I didn't understand how you could put high school students and adults in the same class. I mean, uh, this, this was foreign to me, but it didn't take me very long to understand in the competency-based environment, that if you're trying to train someone to weld, you don't care whether sixteen years old or sixty. You know, the skills that you're trying to teach are the same. And in fact, I came to believe that there was a lot of benefit in putting some of the adults who were there, very -- their reason for being there was to get skills, get out and get a job. And they don't want to horse around. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: And sometimes the high school kid there was there just to get out of another class in the high school. And, and so, it made -- it gave them a lot more seriousness. Now, as time went on and as years passed, we've had some instances where adults who, who were there were involved in drugs and that created a great deal of friction. And, and the school districts didn't want them to be there, but if they're carefully selected, most adults are there for a purpose. They're, they're giving up time at work, they're giving up -- they're paying tuition and they're ready to go to work. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: And so, and they don't -- and they don't want to take a long time about it. O'HARA: (laughs) No. WADE: One of the interesting things I saw years ago, and this was a school in western Kentucky. I visited a class in the high school as a part of a department of education accreditation visit and I saw this kid. I was sitting in the back of the room and he was sitting right in front of me. He had a red bandana around his head and he was, he was absolutely just sleeping. I mean, laying his head up against the wall. And the teacher was paying no attention to him. And, I asked the teacher after the class, I said, "What, what, what's going on with this kid?" "Ah, he's worthless, he's no good, he's just not -- he's not of any value, I can't help him, so I just let him sleep. If he's awake, he's causes problems." Now that was in the morning. In the afternoon, I went to the area technology center, which is in the same county, just about, uh, probably ten miles from there, five miles or so, and --(laughs)-- and I was in the auto body class, and I saw this kid, same kid, bandana, red bandana, around his head, working up a storm. He was working. I went over and asked the teacher, I said, "What about that kid?" "Best kid I've got in class." (O'Hara laughs) "Absolutely --" O'HARA: It's like night and day. WADE: "-- one of the best ones." So what happens is a challenge to get them to do things, to put their hands on it, and if you start running a vocational school and just read and talk about it and you know, theory, without, without hands on, you lose a lot of high school kids. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: And, many of the adults that have been coming to vocational education schools, uh, were not interested in doing academics. I think, as years have gone on, I became convinced that we didn't have enough academics with the technical components in the schools. And I think I see that happening with the merger of the community college and the, and the technical college. I hope it doesn't go too far. I mean, you still need to absolutely have the skill part, but to tell some of them they can have skills without knowledge, to change jobs or to grow in that particular occupation, is a mistake. It was back -- this is probably after the time you're interested, but sometime in the seventies, when, uh, Raymond Barber was the Superintendent of Public Instruction, he insisted that all these non-degree teachers that come in, uh, be given a, uh, one-week intensive survival skills, skills for teaching. Uh, and he was an old military man and he, he, he patterned it after MOI, the Methods of, of Instruction in the Army. They took sergeants into the Army that had never taught, so they put them in this intensive course and they would come out as instructors. So, that's what he wanted to do with the, with the, uh, vocational schools. To make sure that a carpenter, a welder, a machinist, whatever, even though they knew their trade, their skills well had at least some basic skills on how to teach. I've seen some people come into that class and get in front of their co-teachers to teach and quit. Just walk off and say, "No, I've decided this is not for me. I know my trade, but I can't teach it. I can't." So, a lot of times you will look for people that have been, uh, scout leaders or, uh, church leaders or something, or community leaders who have had some experiences in talking to kids or working with kids. Maybe, maybe a youth sports league, you know -- O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: -- if they've done that, as well as being a skilled worker in some occupation, that they're able to do that. Now, now, with the merger of KCTCS, you're, you're getting a little bit less time on the actual performance and a little more time into the studying on the academics. There is a delicate balance there that needs to be, but I'm sure we didn't have enough of it in the sixties. I, I think we turned out welders who might not have done much more than read, barely read. Uh, they could do jobs, but those jobs are going away now. Those, those basic skilled, performance to keep doing this job is not nearly there near as much. You're going to have to think, you have to read, you have to, you have to figure out things and then you also have to have a skill. Another little side story I could tell you is that one of my wife's, um, nephews -- are we out? O'HARA: No, it's working. WADE: One, one of my wife's nephews, he lived in Southern Illinois and he had gone to a community college over there and taken welding. Um, his dad taught at the community college and he took welding like -- they did welding three hours, two days a week. He was, uh, trying to get into the Welder's Union in Paducah. And the Paducah people in the Kentucky schools had been doing welding six hours a day, five days a week. He couldn't compete with them, uh, it so happened that I was there when we were programming the new facility and, uh, the head of the union was telling me and I, I just -- we were talking and I told him about my nephew, and he said, "What's his name?" I, I gave him his name and I said, "Uh, you know, he just can't weld with these kids over here. I mean, these adults, he just can't weld. Uh, he doesn't have the practical experience." Well, he got a job (both laugh). I don't know how he got a job, but he still works -- he's a welder and he does welding on big sky scrapers and on bridges. He travels all over -- O'HARA: Wow. WADE: -- the country doing that and has experience. He had enough experience to initially get a job, but he could not compete with those people who, who had welded a lot, but he also had enough academic education to probably help him to progress faster. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: It, it's kind of like the old argument between practical nurse and RN's. Uh, the RN's being turned out by community colleges and the practical nurse by the technical schools. In, in the early days, the LPN's were far more skilled at, at giving, um, assistance to patients in the hospitals, but it didn't take the community college nurse long because of their academic understanding of things to, to exceed them. To go, they might start out with the LPN, knowing how to do things better or quicker, but they, they passed them. So, you need both of those in, in hospitals, I believe at this time, but, um, but they have different levels of skill and I think it's important to remember that. Where do we go from here? O'HARA: Oh, let me see, it's a fascinating story, all of it. In 1960, um, Governor Combs created a commission on the study of public higher education, and in looking through the report, um, they're -- they did bring in out-of-state consultants. They of -- they, of course, asked the state universities to come in and give their opinion on and also provide a lot of statistical information and they also asked some industry and trade leaders to come and represent and they had some from UK engineering. They also had some state level people, but I think, I'd have to look it up, but I think there was even a, a director of a technical -- of a probably, an area technology center at that time. So, they, they had a small group of people and they did have some industry involvement, it, it was, uh -- and my question is, well the report, pretty much the report did make a recommendation to Governor Combs. The recommendation, the overall recommendation, was, uh, for higher education in Kentucky was that a super board be created to replace the council on public higher education at the time and that a, a system of independent community colleges be established under a board that was separate from any of these state four-year institutions. But it also added that -- further -- that recommended an emphasis on technical programs spanning one to three years, and it acknowledged that further study was going to be needed to determine how much large equipment and capital funding and to be able to tailor these projects. But there was acknowledgement of technical education and they kind of looked at some fields of forestry, civil or highway technology, electronics, professional secretarial training and chemical, mechanical and naturological technology. Those were kind of highlighted. And I was, I was curious how, how this discussion of technical education, how would that have expanded what was already being offered by the area vocational schools? Did it complement it, did it expand it, or was it, um, what they were already doing? WADE: Well, since you didn't have a community college system in place in, in 1960, and actually, you moved back just a little bit before I got there -- O'HARA: Yeah, I did. WADE: I was still teaching at that time. Uh, but I would say as a -- you know, there have been like a study of vocational education and, you know, vocational schools and technical colleges probably every three to five years since then. I mean, there's been something going on, uh, by the legislature. We would have, uh, what is the Post-Secondary Commission in the seventies. Dr. Lyman Ginger headed that for a while. Uh, there was a, there was a study done, and I remember a guy from Georgia came and uh, and made some recommendations. And, and all of these recommendations, as far as I know, for the most part, recommended some sort of, if not merger, certainly, uh, working together more closely. Now let me go back and say this, most of the time when I first started in vocational education, Dr. Carl Lamar was the head of vo-ed. I had worked for him at UK -- in fact, I did my doctorate over there --(laughs)-- when he was at UK and, uh, and Dr., uh, Stanley Wall was the head of the community college system. Both of these men lived within about two blocks of each other in Lexington. They had worked as agriculture teachers. Now that may be a surprise to people, but both of them had been agriculture teachers earlier in their life. Both of them were close friends, both had worked in the College of Education, uh, during that period of time, um, when I first started in, in, in the sixties and, and later on in the seventies, we would meet together with the staff of the community college system and the, and the vocat-- vo- tech system probably four or five times a year. And at least one or two of those times would always be with the community college presidents or deans, or whatever they were called in those days and the tech school directors, uh, superintendents, or whatever they were called. And we would have one meeting a year in which we were meeting together and there was an awful lot of work together and cooperation. I think one of the things the University of Kentucky said when they, when the, uh, when they were talking about creating KCTCS was that they had not done the technical kinds of things because there was an unwritten agreement that the technical schools would do that and they wouldn't get in each other's way. Um, I don't remember it quite that way, but there was, uh, but there was certainly an understanding that we won't do something that you're doing. And, um, and in -- and what happened, even though the tech schools were not offering degree programs in some cases, universities or community colleges were actually offering the degree at the tech's college. Now that didn't start early on; that, that came about later, but, uh, the tech colleges got to where they wanted, as, as area technology centers or as, um, state vocational schools, they wanted to have credit for giving the degree. I mean, they were giving all but, uh, fifteen hours of, uh -- O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: -- academics and they wanted credit for it. Uh, if they were doing forty-five of the sixty-hour program, they wanted credit for it, and that created some of the more friction, but after Dr. Lamar left and, and after, uh, Dr. Wall retired, uh, I still worked with -- Dr. Wethington filled in and we were fairly close friends, uh, in terms of professional work. He went on to be president of the university and I went on to be a lower level person --(laughs)-- at the Council on Post-Secondary Education --(laughs)-- but I call him Charlie, and we worked together and there was a lot of closeness, but --and at various times people who had been in vo-ed began to pull apart from the community college system, and, and in some local communities, there was friction. And in some places, there was great working together. Now I'll tell you one, one thing that probably is important; um, I tried to figure out, where was this, this relationship working very well and where was it not working well? And I found out in my observations, not a statistical study or anything, but my observation was that there must be a third party who has a great deal of influence in the community who says you're going to work together or I'm going to whop you upside the head. Uh, I give you a good example of that, it was Madisonville where both the community college and the technical college where regional technology school people were, were pretty hard-headed and independent and wanted to go their own way. And there was a guy down there who was working for the -- a coal company who had been very influential. He had nothing to do with either school. Uh, he also pulled together the s-- pulled in the superintendent of local schools and he would take them out to the country club and what one of the people told me it was like taking you out behind the woodshed. And he would say, "Folks, you're not going to do this. You're not going to argue, you're not going to fight, you're not going to hassle. You're going to, you're going to get along." And they did. He would find some places where the community college president might be wanting to get along and the tech school didn't want to do it. The tech school wanted to do and the community colleges didn't, and it, it seemed to me in nearly every instance, it had to be not just an individual, but it could be a group. It could be, it could be a chamber, it could be somebody, whoever had enough authority and power and not, uh, not voted. I'm not talking about an elected official, I'm talking about somebody who just is so powerful in the community that they could bring these people together and pull these forces together and it would work. Uh, but it wasn't structurally sound, so you, you didn't have the same structure and I think that's finally what led to, uh, KCTCS being merged. Because they had to get a structural way in which you required the folks to, to work together. And I think that's where we are now, but nearly all of the studies, and there was -- I've got several of the studies in here --(both laugh)-- I didn't bring in because some of those were way after the sixties, but there were study after study after study, some by the legislature, some by independent groups, some by the department of education, some by -- you know, you just name it. There have been studies and studies and studies. It was one interesting thing that happened and, and I can't get the date right now. It was in -- it was when Julian Carroll was Governor, so that would have been sometime in the seventies, I guess. Um, he said, "I'm not going to present a budget to the legislature until I am absolutely sure you have cut out the duplication between the community colleges and the tech schools." Now, I was a division director of the department of education, uh, worked very closely with the tech schools, and, uh, in fact did the programming for them. And at that time, uh, the council on post- secondary education, Council on Higher Education it was called, was located on 127 on the other side of town. Well, for a period of three months, I had an office out there. I -- they just told me to put aside what I was doing, let somebody else do it, and I was assigned, what was called the duplication study. I didn't pull that out, but, but, we did -- we went, we, we did, did a format of getting schools to tell us what programs they offered, whatever the schools were located nearby, uh, how much duplication there was, and then we worked out a plan to, to eliminate the duplication. Interesting thing of that was that there was more duplication within each system --(O'Hara laughs)-- than there was duplication between them. O'HARA: (laughs) That's interesting. WADE: We had a post-secondary, uh, night program in, I think it was -- I'm going to say carpentry in Montgomery County and we might have had another one because Montgomery County, at that time, I think was under the, the, under the Central Kentucky, uh, operation. Then we had another one over in, uh, in the other county, and they were like twenty miles apart and neither one of them were doing well. So why would you have -- and, and the doing well part was like looking at the enrollment, looking at what happened to them, how many of them got jobs, how many completed and then how many of them got jobs after, because that was, that was the essential thing. How do you measure how well a program's doing? You, you measure it based on what happens to your graduates. And they weren't -- none of these were successful --(laughs)-- so, so we, we went and set about, uh, trying to not close both of those, but close one of them and try and get the other students to go to that place. So there was a lot of that, uh, a lot of duplication within the system -- within the community college system and within the tech system, but very little duplication between them. Because there were, they had different goals and different levels. I mean, you had dental technicians from the community colleges and you had dental assistants. And they have different roles and different, uh, jobs at that time, so there were different things. And, and there wasn't near as much duplication and we worked -- and then somewhere in my files out in the garage --(laughs)-- there is a copy of that report, but I've lost and I never did find the big notebook that had all of the results that we got from each school. The name of the program, uh, the enrollment and, and this included -- I'm sorry, this just didn't include community colleges, this included universities. Because at that time Western & Eastern were probably the largest vocational schools in the state. They ran more associate degree programs and had fewer graduates. O'HARA: Really? WADE: Yeah. And, and part of that was by design. Uh, a lot of the technical programs at the higher education level were screening devices and recruiting devices. You recruit somebody in if they're there, and, and after a year they are successful, you transfer them to a four-year program. You don't try to finish them out with an associate degree. Now there's some -- [Pause in recording.] WADE: -- that everybody understands it's not a perfect transition. You just can't move from one level to another, if you do a good job at preparing someone for work at the, at the certificate level, or at the diploma level or at a associate degree level or at a bachelor's level. If you train people to go to work at each of those levels, then there's going to be slippage or you haven't done a good job. O'HARA: That's fascinating. I've never looked at it that way. I mean, that. that makes total sense. WADE: And some people think -- O'HARA: It explains everything. WADE: -- well, you're doing a bad -- you're, you're misleading students, and, and so forth, but if a student knows right up front that they're going for a bachelor's degree, then put them in a bachelor's degree program. If they think there's a possibility that they don't want to go all that way, and I'm talking about in occupational fields now -- O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: I'm talking about in fields that transition straight on up, you know. Then, then go into the associate degree, because you know the associate degree is going to carry enough credit and enough hands-on experience and whatever to get you a job at that level. We have some, there were some agriculture programs that started recently, in the technical schools, and much of the course work that they were doing was the kind of hands-on experience in a bachelor's degree that you get at a senior level. Now, not the academic content area, but the actual practical experience ----------(??). So, you, you -- here you are training somebody to actually go to work in a farm-related activity from, from community college, let's say, uh, and they just have not had the science background that it takes -- that you would get as a first year, two-level, two-year level bachelor's program. Now you can make that articulation better and that's what we're doing, I think. But you can't, you can't just completely eliminate it. You can't just eliminate it. O'HARA: Interesting. I tell you -- WADE: I feel like I've rambled all over the place. O'HARA: No, no, you've -- that -- I tell you what, it's all fascinating. I do have one specific question. WADE: Okay. O'HARA: Um, I'm hoping it's a good question. Um, going back to the 1963 Federal Vocational Education Bill -- WADE: Um-hm. O'HARA: -- that provided supplemental funding for post-secondary vocational technical education programs. My question: how did this federal legistra-- legislation, you talked about how it affected technical education through the, um, area technology centers were able to develop and build, but do you know how it affected the expansion of community colleges? Were they able to use the same funds? As -- it sounds like maybe even the state four-year colleges were able to use vocational education funds. WADE: Uh, I don't -- I'm not sure about '63. Um, I know that, uh, by '68, by the '68 amendments, we were, uh -- the technical components of, of, a, uh, occupational programs, they, they could use that. Now, vocational funds including the Perkins Act, except that for teacher preparation and research, is not used for baccalaureate programs; it has to be something less than a baccalaureate program. Now universities that offer associate degree programs in occupational training could use them. Um, community colleges could use them. Uh, the distribution of those funds have been an interesting kind of procedure. Uh, some of the later bills, some of the later, later federal legislation spelled out how that must be done. And, uh, and so that, uh, that's helped a little bit, but the split, for example, between secondary and post-secondary right now is, is a state issue. And I go to some -- I used to go to the planning meetings and you're sitting on one side, or my post-secondary friends on the other side and my secondary friends and they're fighting over who gets what part of the money. And, uh, I -- sometimes I'd just get up and walk out and let them at -- you know, fight over it. (both laugh) But, I, I was a secondary teacher, I worked with both schools and I wound up my career working in post-secondary education, so, you know, I have a sympathy, an empathy for both levels and understanding the need for the funding. One of the things that happened back, um -- you know, right now, you, uh, list a program by CIP code. Do you know what a CIP code is? That's a -- that's the identification of a, of a, uh, class title. Of a program title. It's not a class, it's a program and, and that applies to all academic programs, and it applies to occupational programs. It applies to all levels, the federal identification of, of a CIP program. C-i-p. Uh, before that, back in the seventies at least, and maybe back in the sixties, there was something that universities used called the HEGAS code, and the HEGAS code -- H-e-g-a-s and don't tell me -- don't ask me what that stood for. But the HEGAS code, uh, you can talk to, uh, somebody over there at KCTCS will know that. Um, but, the -- you get -- the HEGAS code was identification of a c-- of a cluster of, of programs. For example, if you went to the 1000 codes or 2000 codes or 3000 codes or 4000 codes. If you went to the 5000 codes, you were in career technical education or occupational education programs. There were some community college programs who did not want to be called occupational even in the community college system, so far that they wouldn't accept the money. They didn't want --(laughs)-- they didn't want to be a part of it. Uh, most of those had to do with health programs. Some of the health programs did not want to accept -- now this goes back into the seventies, but they -- you can, you can talk to Keith Stevens. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: You know Keith? O'HARA: Yeah. WADE: Talk to Keith and he can tell you about the key-- about the HEGAS codes and, and how some of the community colleges didn't want to be classified as vocational. And so they would give up some of the money that was available to them. O'HARA: How wild! Interesting. WADE: I thought that was funny. O'HARA: That is funny. WADE: It's just a, just a classification issue, but now the, the CIP code. I can't tell you what CIP stands for. Uh, instructional program, Classification of Instructional Programs, I think is what it is. And, and that's a national higher education classification and it'll, it'll classify whether you get a certificate or associate degree or bachelor's degree, master's degree or PhD. Right -- you go right on through it, and all the CIP codes have different levels, so it's a, it's a classification and coding system and, uh, that's interesting. O'HARA: It is. Speaking of the regional, um -- well, the area technology centers: I was curious, were the, were the area technology centers in Kentucky a unique idea or did you see that in other states? Because you were talking about how it sounded like a unique idea to -- WADE: I think -- and, uh, I don't know for sure, but -- from my understanding was that the concept originated primarily in Eastern Kentucky, and it's, it, it just started there. Now, I'm, I'm sure somebody will come along and say, "Oh, we did something like that in Texas or California or something," but I'm not aware of any of those centers that started like the area technology centers did in Eastern Kentucky. And they actually preceded the 1963 act. So there were, there were schools, uh, that, that were established prior to the 1963 act and I believe that the '63 act was heavily influenced by Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky, uh, operation. And I don't know whether I can find anything in here that, uh, that relates to that or not, but somewhere I was reading earlier about which schools actually began, um, prior to the establishment. Uh, uh, goodness, uh, let me get into Eastern Kentucky here somewhere. For example, Millard School in, um, in Pike County was occupied in 1963. You know we didn't have a law passed and a building built and then occupied, so it was started before that was passed. O'HARA: Oh, that's fascinating. WADE: Garth, which was the school in Floyd County, that's what they called it, Garth. It was occupied in 1963, so it started before. And there were, there were two or three here that even began prior to that, I think, if I can find those. Um, Hazard, uh, Breathitt County, Breathitt County opened in 1962. Now Breathitt County opened -- it was built and operated I think by a local board, initially, or at least was funded by. Knox County, Barbourville, it was open in 1962. So -- and I think there was one in Union County in Western Kentucky. I, I think that was the other one that was built, um, prior to, uh, actually, uh, the 1963 act being passed. And that's why I think that much of the '63 act, as it relates to area centers and the construction of centers, I think that, that started in Kentucky. The Appalachian Regional Commission had a great deal of influence on the construction of vocational facilities in Eastern Kentucky. I probably haven't gone into that, but they had -- the, the Appalachian Regional Commission had a, um -- funded schools in what, thirty-eight or so counties in Eastern Kentucky, and for example, the, the aircraft mechanics school in Somerset. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: It's in Somerset because Appalachian Regional Commission funded 80 percent of it. Now you would think why didn't they put that in Lexington or Northern Kentucky or, or Louisville? No, we didn't have money to do it. So, 80 percent of the money came from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Uh, and besides that, the director of the school down there was an old, uh, uh, Air Force man, so he, he pushed for it. But, some of those things happened. We put the school, for example, the Green County, Taylor County -- Taylor County's Campbellsville's bigger than this -- the cities in Campbell. But Taylor County's not in Appalachia. O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: Green County is, so we built the school in Green County. There's a lot of those things that happened like that. That, uh -- eighty percent of the funds for construction, uh, came from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and in those days in the, in the, uh, late sixties, early seventies -- and I'm not when ARC actually passed, but we built a lot of schools. One year, we opened ten schools, ten area centers. Now that was a big job to do that. That was after I came to the department of education, uh, so it was -- there were a lot of schools being, being operated. Those centers, um -- also, another thing that I studied before I left UK to come over here, was a, a regional structure. How did you -- how do you design, how do you layout the state? And one of the interesting things was we laid out the state around the area development centers -- uh, area development districts, uh, the ADD's, the ADD's district. I don't know whether you know about those or not, but those were created -- I remember Al -- oh, oh, what is his last name? What was his first name? Groschelle was his -- he had been, he had been, uh, under -- worked under the Nunn administration in Kentucky. He went to the federal level and he worked out of Atlanta. I know he had something to do with the establishment of area development districts across the nation, and Kentucky was already set up that way in many ways. But, it restructured it a little bit, and we had fifteen of them, and so we had to figure out how do we design the Kentucky vocational schools? So, we did a study in the department of education and everybody had every kind of regional structure you could possibly imagine. (O'Hara laughs) The biggest mess you've ever seen; special ed had this, academic ed had that, somebody else had something else and it was an, it was an absolute disaster. So we went with -- we're training people to increase the economic development of this state; ADD's districts had the same mission, so why don't we just structure around that? We did try to keep the districts so they had at least a hundred thousand population and Gateway and Buffalo Trace districts didn't have that many people. (both laugh) I don't think together they did. That included Rowan County all the way over to Maysville, those two areas. One of them was Area 8 and one was Area 9, so it was interesting that we had fourteen vocational regions, but we didn't have a, a Region 8. (laughs) O'HARA: Skipped over that one. (laughs) WADE: We skipped over that one, so we tried to keep the numbers consistent with the, with the, uh, district as best we could, but we had fourteen regions. The other thing too, I think, I think the, uh, the, um, ADD's districts had sub-districts in Central Kentucky. It was a huge area and probably -- not necessarily the largest population, cause that was probably in Louisville at the time, but the ADD's district was the structure on which we created those regions. It was also interesting, in the, in the early nineties when the legislature fell out of, uh -- you know, they didn't like the concept of having the regional directors --(O'Hara laughs)-- and some of my friends in, in the, uh, school directors, one that we mentioned earlier, had something to do with that and he didn't like the concept of regional directors. And --(laughs)-- and so, the regions were cut from, from fourteen down to six; they were so large that the regional directors couldn't, just couldn't possibly get around. I mean, it was a mess to try and get around, to manage that, and, um, that was the way it was in 1996 when I was the commissioner. It was very difficult with the, with the small number of directors that we had. Well, well, after we created KCTCS and you had the, you had -- like Central Kentucky and Bowling Green do not have a community college at the time. Now, of course, LCC's emerging, but they didn't have that, so you had, you had those two schools that just had some of their centers and, and I kid them and say, "You know, what are you now? You're presidents, you're regional directors." (both laugh) Central Kentucky has a school at, uh, Danville of nursing and they have a school at Northpoint, and they have a school at Anderson County -- O'HARA: Um-hm. WADE: -- and, and you're the president of this Central Kentucky Technical College --(both laugh)-- but you're also a regional director -- they call them districts. It was a wise thing that, uh, KCTCS decided to call them districts. Um, I'm going to have to cut this short. O'HARA: That's okay. WADE: Uh, I don't know whether we've covered it or not, but -- O'HARA: You have. You have, you've answered all my questions. I was just going to say, is there anything I, I have not asked you that you wish I did? WADE: Well, why don't I give you these three, and if you run across something in here -- I want them back. (laughs) O'HARA: Definitely. WADE: But not in a hurry or anything -- O'HARA: Okay. Okay, I appreciate you letting me borrow these -- WADE: Yeah. O'HARA: I know -- I, I tell you what I had not found much out there, um, some dissertations and such, but -- WADE: Um-hm. O'HARA: -- um, I'm very interested in this. You've given me way more than I've gotten any place else, so I'm, I'm just tickled. WADE: Well it's a -- O'HARA: And I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me. WADE: -- it's an interesting thing, uh, uh -- the reason I have to quit is --(laughs)-- I've got to go feed a dog. (both laugh) O'HARA: That's fine, that's fine. WADE: I've got to go get a dog out of the cage, if I don't -- O'HARA: No problem. WADE: If I don't -- [End of interview.] In this interview, Charles Wade, an educator and former employee of the Kentucky Department of Education, discusses both his own personal history as an educator and educational reformist, and the history of Kentucky's vocational education programs over the past century. Dr. Wade details the various legislative acts that enabled the creation of community colleges across the Commonwealth, particularly the current system, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Wade also elaborates on his own personal higher education philosophies. insert here