Western Kentucky University is taking its honor programs to a new level.
The school is establishing an honors college, which is scheduled to be completed by 2009. Western would be one of the first public university's in the state to have such a college, joining what educators say is a hot trend on campuses elsewhere.
A handful of such programs cropped up in the 1960s, mostly at large state universities. But in the past decade, the number has jumped to more than 100 nationwide.
Among other things, an honors college can bring prestige to a university, in part because its students often are the ones who apply for and receive national and international awards.
At Western, the change would elevate the existing honors program and allow students who completed the required program of study to graduate with a joint degree from the college of their academic discipline and from the honors college.