ACTC Business Program Offers Many Career Options

Business Administration is a popular program at Ashland Community and Technical College because of the variety of options it offers for careers.

The program is the stepping stone to dozens of careers in accounting finance, management, supervision, human resources and organizational development, real estate and small business ownership. Potential employers include every business and organization in the country.

Our students are well prepared to either transfer to a four-year institution for a bachelors degree or to enter the work force, said John Davis, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator.

We have students and graduates involved locally in municipal, county, and state government positions- particularly in accounting, real estate, restaurants, catering, childcare, banking and finance businesses, Davis said. The average starting pay in industry for our graduates is $26,000 year.

The focus for our business students is to develop the basic knowledge that will help them succeed in the constantly changing business environment, said Davis. We teach the hard skills in business principles and practices as well as the soft skills in creative problem solving, teamwork and communication that employers are looking for.

Mayra Mendez is a 2014 ACTC graduate taking classes at Morehead State University while working full time in ACTCs Advising Center. The Argillite resident moved to the area from California 12 years ago to be with family, and she found ACTC to be the logical step to a career.

The great thing about ACTCs business program is that it does not end with the technical knowledge, Mendez said. We are encouraged to look at problems from all angles and open our minds to various solutions. The decision-making skills have proven to be useful in my current position, and every single day I use something that ACTC taught me.

Our business classes are not lectures as much as they are discussions and students are encouraged to disagree and offer alternative views and solutions, Davis said. I have 25 years of experiences in working in corporations and for myself, and I love bringing a real world aspect to the lessons.

Like other programs at ACTC, Business Technology draws from a diverse population of young students looking for a first job and older students looking for a new start or a better career.

The degree gave me a new sense of empowerment and opened a lot of new opportunities. It was very much worth it. said Winston E. Leadingham, Work and Learn Case Manager for ACTCs Ready to Work Program. He entered ACTC as a nontraditional student looking for a more stable career. He graduated in 2003 with a degree in Business Accounting.

Sri R. Lewis from Raceland is preparing to get back into a business career she left behind in Indonesia. She met her husband Dewey when he was in the military and is now living in his hometown of Raceland. She started in the Adult Education program to get a GED and continued at ACTC because it was convenient to home.

When I first moved here I didnt have much information on how and where to go to school, but everyone at ACTC has helped me on my path, said Lewis. She plans to transfer for a bachelors degree in business, possibly at Ohio University-Southern, and then go on for a masters degree.

Business Credential Options

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree combines fundamental business courses, general college education courses, and courses in one of two options: accounting and management.

The Accounting Option leads to entry-level positions in accounting, including bookkeeper, accounting clerk, payroll clerk and positions using microcomputer-based systems.

The Management Option prepares students with broad-based management knowledge and skills that lead to a variety of management and supervisory positions.

Two diplomas combine general business courses with courses in a specific field. The Organizational Leadership Diploma prepares students to manage a department or to become a team leader in team-based or self-managed organizations. The Small Business Management Diploma offers students the fundamentals for starting and operating a business.

Certificates are an option for people who seek a new set of business skills that can lead to a promotion or better job. ACTC offers ten certificates: Basic and Advanced Business Administration, Business Transfer, Finance, Financial Perspectives, General Business, Leadership, Pre-licensing Real Estate, Small Business Management and Supervisory Management.

Business graduates may also transfer their courses to universities and four-year colleges. ACTC has 2+2 business transfer agreements with Marshall University, Morehead State University, Shawnee State University and Ohio Valley University near Parkersburg, WV. Due to 2+2 programs and other agreements with many universities in our area, transferring can be relatively seamless, Davis said.

The 2+2 transfer agreements list all the courses needed at ACTC for transfer to a specific university. The list of transfer courses provides the shortest possible path to a specific baccalaureate degree by eliminating ACTC classes that would not count for that particular degree.

Although Brandon McMullen doesnt officially graduate from ACTC until this month, he is already taking classes for a business accounting major at Marshall University.

The 2008 Lawrence County High School graduate started at ACTC without a clear goal. "My parents were big on college, but I didnt like it at first and dropped out for a year. Then I grew up and took college seriously."

"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career until I took a business class and loved the field right away. My teachers John Davis and Molly Webb helped me step by step along the way. It is important to make something of yourself, and ACTC helped me find my motivation to go on in the field. I was well prepared to transfer to a bigger institution."

McMullen currently has an internship with the Fyffe Jones Group in Ashland. He plans to take the CPA exam as soon as he graduates from Marshall and go into accounting for CPA firm or industry.

For details on business courses and options, contact John Davis, email: john.davis@kctcs.edu. Spring semester begins January 12, and new students must apply by December 29.