MCTC Receives Award to Educate Adult Learners - Partnership between KYAE, KCTCS and KWIB

Maysville, Ky. (August 26, 2011) The Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC), in partnership with Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) and the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB), has been awarded a $200-thousand dollar grant as a part of Accelerating Opportunity, a Breaking Through Initiative. Supported by a strategic partnership of five of the nation's leading philanthropies, Accelerating Opportunity will help Kentucky transform adult education into more successful pathways leading to economic security for underprepared workers in today's demanding job market.

The number of adults who lack skills beyond a high school diploma is a national crisis. Within the five county region served by MCTCs Maysville Campus, nearly 42% of adults between the ages of 18 and 65 do not have a high school credential, preventing them from earning a wage to support a family. In fact, it is predicted by the year 2018, 54 percent of all jobs in Kentuckymore than 1 million jobswill require some level of postsecondary education or training.

This initiative will allow students to finish a credential and be a part of the workforce much sooner than before, comments MCTC President Ed Story. Many individuals will benefit from this initiative.

MCTC was selected because of its leadership commitment, the strength of their local adult education program, their partnership with the local Workforce Investment Board and college history with innovative programing. The seven other KCTCS colleges selected for the implementation design phase of the initiative include: Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Gateway Community and Technical College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Madisonville Community College, Owensboro Community and Technical College, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

The TENCO Workforce Investment Board is certainly excited about the Accelerating Opportunities program, says Owen McNeill with TENCO / BTADD Business Service. Our board has employed a sector strategy for some time now and we feel the focus on industries in demand will only compound the benefits for these participants. With demographics progressing more and more towards the need for high school credentials and professional certifications, we feel this program has the potential to immediately impact participants lives enabling them to obtain self-sufficient wages and provide for their families in a much more expedient timeframe.

Students enrolled in the program will be given assessment tests to determine their deficiencies. Intense instruction using computer technology, workbooks, classroom instruction and tutoring will be incorporated in the students learning plan to assist them in overcoming these deficiencies and to assist them in testing out of developmental courses.

A Kentucky Design Team for the Accelerating Opportunity has been established to assist the colleges in creating programs that integrate basic skills with practical, occupational training. The team is comprised of 16 individuals who will meet on at least a monthly basis during the nine-month life of the design grant. The Kentucky Design Team includes:

  • Dr. Jay Box, KCTCS Chancellor
  • Beth Brinly, Commissioner Cabinet for Education amp; Workforce Development
  • Reecie Stagnolia, Vice President CPE/Kentucky Adult Education
  • David Adkisson, Executive Director KY Chamber of Commerce
  • Ron Crouch, Director of Research amp; Statistics, Cabinet for Education amp; Workforce Development
  • Cris Crowley, Director of Adult Education KCTCS/ Madisonville CTC
  • Robert I. Curry, Executive Director, Bluegrass State Skills Corporation
  • Kim Dees, Vice President, Kentucky Hospital Association
  • John Greenwell, Coordinator of Adult Ed. Workforce Services, Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Greg Higdon, President/CEO, KY Association of Manufacturing (KAM)
  • Mark Hundley, KCTCS Grant Development Specialist
  • Pam Jarboe, Director of Program Services, KY Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Dr. Gloria McCall, KCTCS Vice Chancellor
  • Bill Monterosso, Executive Director, OET
  • Dr. Aaron Thompson, Senior VP for Academic Affairs, Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Tom West, Executive Director, Kentucky Workforce Investment Board

"Accelerating Opportunity, a Breaking Through Initiative is something that we have been doing for over three years very successfully, comments Bill Teegarden, college preparation program coordinator for MCTCs Lillian H. Rice Adult Education Center. The MCTC Adult Education/College Preparation program pioneered a program that focused upon the student's individual deficiencies in reading, math, and writing and developed a program of study for each student to assist them in testing out of developmental classes. This program has been very successful and will only be enhanced by this new initiative sponsored by KCTCS and Kentucky Adult Education. Accelerating Opportunity seeks to change the way education is delivered to adult learners by putting adult students on track to earn a postsecondary credential so they can seize the opportunity to earn family-sustaining wages and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Design grants were also awarded to, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin. After the design stage, the states will be eligible to compete for implementation grants, of which five states will receive $1.6 million each over three years to implement their plans. The initiative will engage nearly 40 community colleges across the country and impact more than 18 thousand adult learners. Educational pathways to higher skills, credentials and employment will be rigorously tested and independently evaluated.

Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative is a multi-state effort managed by Jobs for the Future that promotes improved academic access and economic opportunity for low-skilled adults. This effort seeks to enhance adult education and postsecondary systems by integrating basic skills with occupational training and adequate institutional support for adult learners, ensuring they receive the postsecondary credentials needed to succeed in high-skilled jobs and break the cycle of poverty in their communities. Accelerating Opportunity is supported by the Bill amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations. For more information, visit the Accelerating Opportunity website.

For more information on the Kentucky initiative, visit their website.

For most Kentuckians, higher education begins at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Our statewide system of 16 colleges, 68 campuses and more than 106,000 students is a critical component to transforming the states economy by providing citizens with the education and training needed for high growth, high wage careers. For more information, visit the KCTCS website.