It is no secret that the region’s economy and overall quality of life are greatly enhanced by the presence of Western Kentucky University.

So while the new Indiana Tech location coming to downtown Bowling Green may be significantly smaller than the campus on the Hill, it is nonetheless a positive development.

As reported exclusively in the Daily News this week, Indiana Tech, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., will open a location this year at Stadium Park Plaza.

The school has about 9,000 students spread across 19 locations in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. The roughly 4,000-square-foot Bowling Green facility will feature offices, a computer lab and classroom and tutoring space.

The school, which offers associate, bachelor and advanced degree programs at its campuses and online, is gearing the space for use primarily by those taking online classes.

Online education continues to grow, and while there is no shortage of schools that offer online degree programs, Indiana Tech’s local facility will offer something unique: a chance for students to enroll, get support and even take some classes in a physical location.

“Especially working adults need a lot of support ... it can be difficult” for adults who have not been in a classroom for many years, said Steve Herendeen, Indiana Tech vice president for enrollment management.

The facility will be staffed initially by two admission representatives, support staff and adjunct faculty, and when the classrooms are not being used, they will be available to use as corporate training and meeting spaces.

Another plus for Bowling Green is that the Indiana Tech facility will be on the third floor of Stadium Park Plaza in downtown Bowling Green. The plaza is owned by the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority, and the Indiana Tech facility will bring additional Tax Increment Financing district revenue and people to downtown. With new apartments and a $4 million renovation underway, Bowling Green’s thriving downtown continues to take positive steps.

Bowling Green is a higher education hub for southcentral Kentucky with WKU, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus. Indiana Tech is a welcome addition to that mix.

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