Ready-to-Work program a gamechanger for non-traditional students | MCTC

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Ready-to-Work program a gamechanger for non-traditional students

Published on Jun 4, 2024

By Megan Smedley

Ask Christy Kissick about the Ready-to-Work program at Maysville Community & Technical College, and she will tell you that it changed her life.

When choosing to return to college at 42, Kissick said she found the idea of enrolling in a four-year university overwhelming due to the financial burden and size of the institution.

She said that she discovered the Ready-to-Work program by pure happenstance, and the opportunities it provided her seemed too good to be true.

“I walked into the wrong door to submit papers for another supportive service,” Kissick said. “Paula Lewis was there and started asking me questions. She told me she thought I may qualify for KTAP (Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program). I told her I didn’t qualify for anything through the DCBS (Department of Community Based Services) office, but she said KTAP was a little different. She guided me on what to do, and she was right…I qualified. I waited for them to tell me they had made a mistake during the application process. It was just too good to be true. But they never did.”

Kissick also worked part-time in the enrollment services office on MCTC’s Rowan Campus as part of the program.

“While working in enrollment services, I gained knowledge in records, admissions, and financial aid,” she said. “Before graduating, I acquired two years of office skills and received several job offers.”

Kissick graduated from MCTC in 2021 with an associate in applied science degree in Medical Office Technology.

“I excelled in college and discovered my passion for helping others with resources. As a result, I transferred to a four-year college to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work,” she said.

“While working in enrollment services, I prioritized familiarizing myself with every available resource and supportive service. This allowed me to assist others effectively and share valuable information,” she added.

Kissick currently works at MCTC as an admissions counselor and campus recruiter.

“I've had the opportunity to listen to numerous student stories and witness firsthand the transformative impact of these resources on their lives. It surprised me that many individuals, including myself, were unaware of the availability of these resources, so I dedicated myself to spreading awareness about the opportunities within their reach,” she said.

Kissick said she believes the Ready-to-Work program is an invaluable resource that significantly contributes to student success.

“Through the program, students learn to effectively balance family, education, and employment demands, gaining valuable insights into time management and prioritization,” she said.

Kissick added, “Having personally participated in the program for over two years and receiving KTAP support, I can attest to its transformative impact. Upon completing my education and transitioning out of the program, my income level rose significantly, lifting me out of poverty and eliminating the need for DCBS supportive services. The Ready to Work program has been a life-changing experience, empowering me to achieve a higher social standing and providing me with the tools for long-term success.”

Ready-to-Work is a partnership between the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the KY Cabinet for Health & Family Services, Department for Community Based Services. It is designed to assist low-income parents that are enrolled at a KCTCS institution, a former KCTCS student seeking employment, working with Kentucky Skills U or on a high school diploma, or have a barrier to enrolling at KCTCS, such as student debt.

Ready-to-Work offers support as students balance family, work, and school, work-study opportunities that do not reduce certain public benefits, advocacy and mentoring, access to daycare and transportation assistance, and employment skills training.

For more information, contact Paula Lewis, Director of Ready-to-Work, by emailing