Welcome to a new year at Ashland Community and Technical College. As we look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of 2012, we also reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. Below are some of the years highlights.
In May, ACTC was named one of the top 120 US community colleges by the Aspen Institute of Colorado, an international research institute and think tank on public issues. The rating was based on high standards for learning, completion rates, and training for competitive jobs.
Spring and fall enrollments set new records, with 3,612 students last spring, up from 3,425 the previous spring, and an unofficial count of 4,931 students in fall, up from 4,762 in the previous fall. Graduation also set a new record, with 521 students receiving a total of 1301 credentials.
Two new programs in agriculture were added in fall. The Agricultural Technician and Nursery Production certificates are designed for students interested in farming or horticulture as a career or full-time or part-time job.
ACTC partnered with Christ Temple Church in Ashland on a Super Sunday college fair held last February. Super Sunday is a Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) initiative to increase the college-going rate of African-American students.
The truck driver training program at the Roberts Drive Campus added CDL Class B classes, refresher courses and yard/safety shuttle training for businesses. The program is offered through a partnership between Lake Cumberland CDC Training School, Inc. and the college.
ACTC awarded more than $50,000 in 2011-12 scholarships to help students finance their education.
Construction began on the Harold amp; Ruie Kelley Child Development Center across from the College Drive Campus. Funded through the college foundation, 6,000 square foot facility will provide care for the children of ACTC students and employees. The Center will open next fall.
A new Cosmetology Program building on the College Drive Campus is nearing completion. The 6,000 square foot modular building located on Oakview Road is expected to be finished next month. Cosmetology students will move there from the current facility at the Roberts Drive Campus.
In collaboration with local and state organizations, ACTC presented College Goal Sunday for students needing information on financial aid, a Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company performance for the community, a college and university Transfer Fair for ACTC students and Rotary Access to Careers Day for high school students.
ACTC Theatre presented G2K Once Upon a Mattress, a Childrens Theatre production,in February, Wuthering Heights the Musical in April, Chicago in October and A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley in December. Under the direction of Associate Professor Edward Figgins, ACTC theatre is an acting and production experience for students and a live theatre opportunity for the community.
ACTC and Morehead State University at Ashland celebrated Constitution Day with a free program on the meaning of the U. S. Constitution. The Honorable Lewis D. Nicholls, Senior Status Judge for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, was the speaker.
Black History Month Programs cosponsored with community organizations and residents were Black in the 22nd Century by John Faulkner, Community Relations Manager for the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, African and African American Connections to Appalachian Music by Kathy Bullock, Professor of Music at Berea College, Gospel Night and the annual A Night at the Apollo talent contest.
ACTC hosted the Big Sandy River Regional Future Farmers of America a presentation by Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education President Bob King, an Unemployment Insurance Workshop sponsored by the KY Dept. for Workforce Investment and the Ashland Alliance, and the Region 10 Meeting of Family, Career, Community Leaders of America.
ACTC Lifelong Learning, Boyd County Master Gardeners and the UK Cooperative Extension Service cohosted Perennial Plant Exchanges in spring and fall.
College Camp and Camp Invention provided summer enrichment classes for more than 100 elementary and middle school students.
The Student Art Show in April at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center included the works of 18 students from art classes taught by Associate Professor Wendy Fosterwelsh.
ACTC participated in a Colorectal Story Project undertaken by the Kentucky Cancer Program, Ashland/Boyd Co. Health Dept. and ACTC to address the concern about the high cancer rates in Appalachia.
ACTC benefactors recognized at the annual KCTCS Presidents Gala and Benefactors Awards Dinner in October were Robert J. Maher from Ashland and former Ashland residents Guy and Lisa Spriggs.
Employees receiving KCTCS New Horizons Excellence Awards were Dr. Aschalew Mengistu, Associate Professor of Microbiology; Dr. Larry Ferguson, Dean of Community, Workforce amp; Economic Development; and Ella Smith, Administrative Assistant for Title III.
Faculty members promoted to Professor were Kathryn Edwards, Donald OPell, Cindy Shelton, and Alice K. Thompson. Promoted to Associate Professor was Dr. Aschelew Mengistu. Promoted to Assistant Professor were Belinda Bradley, Randolph Cullum, Elizabeth McGinnis, Kristina Rowe and Ashley Skidmore.
Sarah Diamond Burroway, Director of Grants and Contracts, participated in the annual KCTCS Presidents Leadership Seminar.
Students Kenneth R. Cline and Cheryl A. Cook were named to the KCTCS 2011 All Academic Team. Both students graduated in May with high honors. Cline received an AAS in Applied Process Technologies, Chemical/Power Plant Operator Option. Cook received an AAS in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education.
Individuals honored at Graduation in May included Kristie M. Whitlatch, Distinguished Alumnus Award; Dr. Michael and Dana Goodwin; Distinguished Service Award; and Bennie J. Shields, Special Recognition Award.
Professor Richard R. Conley received the prestigious 2011 Gussler Family Endowed Chair in Science and Mathematics Award. The award recognizes faculty for their ability to support and motivate students to reach and exceed their goals.
Angela Green, a nursing major from Ashland, received a fall scholarship from ACTCs chapter of the American Association of Women in Community Colleges.
Tonya Lee Smith, a Computer Aided Drafting and Design student from Flatwoods, received one of five scholarships awarded by the Kentucky Housing Association.
Linda D. Hunt, Associate Professor of Mathematics, received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Marshall University Graduate College.
Nicole Pramik, adjunct faculty member, wrote a chapter for SpongeBob SquarePants and Philosophy, published by Open Court Publishing Company in August.
ACTCs chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society received the KY Region Five Star Chapter Award for the 15th year. Advisors John M. Davis and Ashley Skidmore received Distinguished Chapter Advisor Awards. Advisor Dan Bailey received the Horizon Award. Students Tammy S. Lee from South Point, OH and Susan L. Perry from Flatwoods, KY received Distinguished Chapter Officer Awards.
ACTC student winners in the annual SkillsUSA competition hosted by the college were Jordan Adkins, Sandy Hook; Christopher D. Foltz, South Point, OH; Freeman A. Kelly, Louisa; Alfred J. Moats, Jr. and Travis S. Smith, Ashland; and Charlie R. Vanover, II, Wurtland.
In 2011, the ACTC family supported a variety of organizations and services, including United Way, March of Dimes, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, River Cities Harvest, American Red Cross, Community Kitchen, Shelter of Hope, Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, Safe Harbor and Two Hearts Pregnancy Center.
Community service activities included Ashlands Arbor Day tree giveaway, hair collection for Locks of Love, and Grayson Lake cleanups in spring and fall.
We look forward to a new year of programs, services and opportunities for community involvement and development.