Draughon’s relocates near campus

Josh Coffman

Another college has moved onto Western’s turf, but university officials don’t seem threatened.

The Bowling Green campus of Draughon’s Junior College, formerly located on Lovers Lane, moved into its new building on Fitzgerald Industrial Drive earlier this month.

It’s now located across from the Hattie Preston Intramural Sport Complex, near the South Campus.

Mark Staynings, the division chair of business and computer studies at Bowling Green Community College, said he doesn’t see Draughon’s as a direct competitor to the community college.

“I think we appeal to a different clientele,” he said.

Staynings said Draughon’s move to a larger building shows the junior college is growing.

The new campus, near Campbell Lane, is more convenient for many of Draughon’s students, said Kathy Elson, associate director of admissions at Draughon’s.

Elson, wife of football head coach David Elson, said that much of the junior college’s enrollment is made up of non-traditional students.

Staynings said the community college also reaches out to non-traditional students.

But he said it also works to prepare students by offering remedial math and English to those who don’t qualify for classes on the Hill.

Melva Hale, director of Draughon’s, said the two schools compliment each other more than they compete.

Some students who graduate from Western come to Draughon’s to get additional training, she said.

She said Draughon’s is a “career college” that maintains a 90 percent job placement rate.

The two schools are also accredited through different agencies, he said.

Western, like all public universities and many private colleges in the state, is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges.

SACS is the recognized regional accrediting body for the Southeast United States, according to its Web site.

Draughon’s is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

The ACICS is recognized by the Department of Education as a national accrediting body for institutions offering primarily business and business-related programs at non-degree, associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, according to the ACICS Web site.

The two schools differ in price. In-state tuition at the community college is $1,825 per semester.

Tuition at Draughon’s is $225 per credit hour, regardless of how many hours a student takes in a semester.

Duane Doyle, an admissions counselor at Draughon’s, said the two schools are just different.

“18,000 students to 450 – we don’t try to compete,” he said.

Reach Josh Coffman at [email protected]