Playing it backward and forward: returning to a two-year college | MCTC

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Playing it backward and forward: returning to a two-year college

November 25, 2019

Commentary by Keith Kappes

Keith Kappes at podiumIt has been more than 50 years since I left today’s Ashland Community and Technical College to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

My higher education journey eventually took me to Morehead State University where I finished bachelor’s and master’s degrees and worked more than 40 years in public relations and fund raising.

Recently, after being away from public higher education for nine years, I recalled how critical a two-year institution had been to my own college experience. I clearly remember that college likely would not have been in my life’s journey without convenient access to such an affordable institution.

In addition to tuition at a bargain price, I also benefitted from deeply committed faculty members and administrators who gave me individual attention and encouragement in a family-like environment.

Some of them became lifelong friends and today I cherish their memories. As I reflected on the influence of my early experiences in college, I began to feel a sense of obligation for the advantages I had received as a student at a two-year institution.

My first reaction to those feelings was the decision my wife and I made to support the successful “Build-Smart” capital campaign that provided matching funds for Phase 1 of the new Rowan Campus. And we also are supporting MCTC with an annual gift.

Enrolling at what is now ACTC at a time when I could not afford to go to a residential campus was a life-changing event that continues to pay dividends for me today. Moreover, I know that MCTC and other KCTCS colleges are having an even greater impact on today’s students of all ages.

Serious declines in state funding and resulting significant increases in tuition and fees at all of Kentucky’s public institutions of higher learning have made community and technical colleges even more valuable to students and their families.

With gratitude for the past and excitement about the future, I am doubly pleased to be a member of the institutional advancement team at MCTC.

I invite you to go online to and discover how this school can make a real difference in your life or in the life of someone you care about.

(Keith is Community Relations Liaison at Maysville Community & Technical College. He can be reached at