VERSAILLES, Ky. — The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents learned at its meeting today about the results achieved by four KCTCS colleges that received Entrepreneurial Innovation Grants. The intent of the grants is to develop entrepreneurial and innovative programs that attract adult students and provide them with the training and knowledge needed for a direct path to a successful career or to transfer to a four-year institution.
In August 2017, KCTCS President Jay K. Box announced the first Entrepreneurial Innovation Grants for KCTCS Colleges. Four colleges received grants totaling $750,000: Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) $400,000, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) $200,000, Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) $100,000 and Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) $50,000.
OCTC used the grant to create the Tech X program that offers adult students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to become a multi-craft technologist (a diverse set of manufacturing skills that include welding, machining, etc.) in as few as seven months. The program offers a real-world industrial environment where students receive hands-on, project-based skills. Thirty-three students have participated in the program to date and 36 certificates/certifications have been awarded in areas of welding, machining and forklift driving.
ECTC utilized the Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (KAMP) model to create a competency-based, apprenticeship program aimed at unemployed or underemployed adults who want to earn certificates (academic and industry-recognized), diplomas, and degrees in advanced manufacturing. To date, the college has partnered with seven local manufacturers and 15 students have taken or are taking two Industrial Maintenance Technology (IMT) courses and getting hands-on experience in the workplace. Work continues on this project to develop methods of providing credit for prior learning to participants.
HCTC created the Tuesday Night Live program designed to remove some of the common barriers adults face in getting a college credential or degree by providing convenient and flexible instruction, childcare, meals and extra student support and mentoring. The program focuses on hybrid course offerings that include both on-campus and online course instruction in short eight-week sessions. Students in the program attend class on Tuesday evening where dinner and child programming is provided. It includes tutoring, homework assistance and engaging STEM learning activities. Student support offices also remain open late on Tuesdays. Eighty-eight students participated in the spring cohort.
JCTC has utilized the grant to focus on developing accelerated pathways for incumbent workers who need additional training and skills, delivering competency-based education on site at a partner organization focused on addiction recovery and creating a tool kit for faculty and staff to use to assist in identifying possible employer partners.
“The Entrepreneurial Innovation Grant program is just one example of how KCTCS is providing solutions to our state’s workforce shortage,” said KCTCS Board of Regents Chair Marcia L. Roth. “More than half of Kentucky employers are struggling to find workers with the necessary skills, and it is critical that we get more of our state’s undereducated adults trained to meet these needs. All four of these programs are outstanding examples of the innovative methods our colleges are employing to enhance our state’s workforce.”
In other business, the board approved a $5 per student credit hour tuition increase for 2019-20 for in-state students. This action aligns with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) parameter for tuition rates. Approved tuition rates for the 2019-20 year are:
- $174 per credit hour for in-state students
- $348 per credit hour for out-of-state students from counties contiguous to Kentucky
- $609 per credit hour for all other out-of-state students
Additionally, the board:
- Ratified 33 certificate programs.
- Approved an associate in applied science in health science technology for Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
- Approved 9,880 academic credential requests between October 4, 2018 – January 9, 2019 (associate degrees, diplomas and certificates). These credentials include:
- 6,492 candidates for certificates;
- 607 candidates for diplomas; and
- 2,781 candidates for associate degrees.
The next meeting of the KCTCS Board of Regents is scheduled for June 13-14 at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville.