3 KCTCS schools to receive federal grants for vocational programs

Published 10:38 am Monday, January 22, 2024

Three colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) are among 22 colleges and universities nationwide that will receive federal grants to develop high-quality career vocational programs, it was announced on Wednesday.

The grant amounts and summaries of the projects include:

  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College ($1.8 million) will restructure its current student advising structure by reimagining the role of advisors and implementing strategies to support students in navigating their chosen pathways effectively.
  • Elizabethtown Community and Technical College ($1.9 million), staff will work to increase education, awareness and engagement among learners about the diverse and promising career pathways available in advanced manufacturing.
  • Hazard Community and Technical College ($2.2 million) will implement a secondary to postsecondary transition program including dual credit hubs at each high school and area technology centers with new college navigators to provide greater access to a wide range of resources and support services, in addition to professional development for faculty and staff.

“The faculty and staff of our colleges, and our many education and workforce partners, are laser-focused on students achieving success in the classroom and in the workplace, and we are making significant progress,” said KCTCS President Ryan Quarles. “With the support of these competitive grants, our colleges will strengthen career pathways in high-demand fields for thousands of students in their regions and beyond.”

Grants were funded by the federal Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Grant Program, the purpose of which is to strengthen career  pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in their regions.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is celebrating its 25th anniversary as the state’s largest postsecondary institution, with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses which together have an annual enrollment of 101,000 students.

KCTCS is the state’s largest provider of workforce training, dual credit classes and online education, serving 44% of the state’s public higher education undergraduates.