First-gen student finds success at ACTC, MSU | ACTC

First-gen student finds success at ACTC, MSU

November 8, 2022

ASHLAND, Ky. – Tabitha Skaggs says she knows the struggles it takes to succeed. 

“My upbringing wasn’t the most manageable, but it allowed me to be self-sufficient, determined, resilient, persevere through the hard times, and strive to improve the future for myself and my children,” she says. 

Skaggs, a mom of two, is a first-generation college student and a 2020 graduate of Ashland Community and Technical College’s Associate of Arts program. 

She is set to graduate from Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work in December. 

“It is humbling to be where I am today, but I couldn’t have done it without the support and assistance of ACTC faculty and staff, Student Support Services, and my family. My academic advisor saw the strengths and potential I had to impact others. But I couldn’t see it in myself,” Skaggs said.

She said that when she first began classes at an ACTC, she had no idea how to navigate college and initially felt out a place. 

“Being a first-generation college student, you encounter many obstacles that a traditional student may not face,” she said. “Luckily, I came to ACTC, where I was given many opportunities to grow professionally and become confident in my skills.”

Skaggs says that being a first-generation college student allows those individuals to inspire others in their life who might be afraid to take that jump. 

According to research conducted by Duke University, roughly one-third of the undergraduates at two- and four-year institutions are first-generation college students.

The mission of Student Support Services (SSS) at ACTC is to increase the retention and graduation rates of first generation, low-income students, and students with disabilities.

SSS, a federally funded TRiO program, offers free tutoring as well as other types of academic support to students who qualify for the program.

For more information, contact Megan Horne, SSS director, by emailing