Business Students Learn Global Skills

The Business Administration Program at Ashland Community and Technical College emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed to operate businesses in todays global economy,

Students are taught the hard skills, such as finance, accounting and marketing, that are necessary to succeed, but we also teach them the soft skills such as group work, communication skills and creative problem-solving. said John M. Davis, Associate Professor and Business Program Coordinator.

Reasoning, thinking and teamwork skills are as important as academic skills, according to the 21st Century Workforce Commission of the National Alliance of Business.

Students learn that books are just a part of their education, Davis said. They learn that they cant just memorize things because this is not a marketable tool. They are taught to think and question all aspects of their environment, to research all views and form their own opinion.

Instructors like John Davis, Molly Webb and Don Frailie really care for their students, said ACTC graduate Jessica Lucas. They exposed me to real-world, real-life applications of business principles and gave me the knowledge and confidence to aggressively pursue my dreams after college.

An Ashland resident and Boyd County High School graduate, Lucas is the owner of The Zone, a fitness studio in Ashland, and she is also the ACTC Workforce Solutions Specialist. My experience at ACTC really prepared me for small business ownership as well as for transfer to Morehead State University. At MSU, she earned a bachelors degree in business and information technology.

Many students like Lucas choose ACTC because of the combination of quality instruction, low cost and the flexibility of scheduling classes to fit work and family obligations.

Starting close to home is one reason why Samantha J. Smith chose ACTC. I wanted to stay close to home for a start. I got a scholarship to go here and I can start here and work my way up.

I want to learn about the field that I plan on pursuing, and I also want to learn about myself. Part of the college experience is growth as an individual, she said.

An Argillite, KY resident and 2010 graduate of Greenup County High School, Smith plans to get a degree in the business - accounting option. After that, she expects to transfer for a bachelors degree and perhaps become a C.P.A.

Some students like Lucas and Smith are preparing for a first career. Others, like Winston E. Leadingham, are looking for a new career. After two former employers closed their doors without warning, I decided that not having a degree had me at the mercy of employers and the only way to empower myself was to return to school, he said.

A Flatwoods resident, Leadingham earned his business degree from ACTC in 2003 and is Work and Learn Case Manager for ACTCs Ready to Work Program.

The Business Administration Program serves those who seek entry-level business jobs, self-employment or career advancement. The option of earning an associate degree and transferring to a four-year institution for the last two years of a bachelors degree is a bonus for many students.

An associate degree allows a quick start for those seeking or needing technical training / education to become employed in a shorter amount of time, Davis said. With the associate degree, students have the option of working or going on for a bachelors degree either full time or part-time while working.

Business Options

The program offers certificates and diplomas that focus on specific business skills, and an Associate of Applied Science Degree that includes a broader range of fundamental business courses. Associate degree students select an option in Accounting, Finance, Management or Real Estate to help them develop career-focused skills.

Diplomas are offered in Organizational Leadership and Small Business Management.

Certificates are available in Basic and Advanced Business Administration, Business Transfer, Finance Perspectives, General Business, Leadership, Management, Pre-licensing Real Estate, Small Business Management and Supervisory Management.

Business Transfer Programs

Many business students plan to transfer for a bachelors degree, and ACTC has 2+2 transfer agreements with Marshall, Morehead State and Shawnee State Universities. The agreements allow students to complete the first two years of a bachelors degree program at ACTC and the last two years at a specific university.

The Marshall transfer program leads to a BA in Business Administration, with options

in Accounting, Economics, Economics with International Economics Concentration, Finance, Management, Management-Health Care Concentration, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Marketing with a Business Logistics Concentration.

The Morehead transfer program for a BA in Business Administration has options in Accounting, Business and Information Technology Education, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing and Real Estate.

The Shawnee transfer program for a BA in Business has options in Accounting, General Business and Health Management.

Business students may also transfer to the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University and other universities and four-year colleges. By working with an advisor, students can select courses that will transfer to their chosen institution.

Connection to Business Careers

There are area jobs available for business graduates, according to Davis. Our graduates have jobs in the banking industry, with local governments and in accounting firms, and some are entrepreneurs and are running their own businesses.

At ACTC, I received a quality, practical, real-world education close to home and one that was easy on the wallet, Jessica Lucas said. I feel that my 2-year experience at ACTC prepared me more for small business ownership than my total undergraduate experience did, as a whole.

ACTC provides students an opportunity to get a quality education that is clearly linked to the human resource needs of business and industry, said Dr. Larry A. Ferguson, ACTC Dean of Community, Workforce and Economic Development .

ACTC graduates typically rank much higher on initial screening processes for positions we offer for hire, Ferguson said. They also tend to perform very positively during the interview process and are solid performers once in the position.

The business environment is constantly changing and the program must keep up. We have a great advisory board and its input is invaluable, Davis said. The advisors keep us abreast of skill sets that are in demand so that we can incorporate these skills into our teaching.

Businesses can always use good employees, said Terry S. Kidd, President/C.E.O. Bluegrass Community Federal Credit Union and an Advisory Board member. In order to accomplish this, we provide a link between good students that would make good employees and the employers. The Board helps keep the program updated on the ever-changing environment.

I would recommend the Business Administration program to anyone who wants to make a change, said Samantha Smith. Not only do I learn about how businesses and management work, I also learn how to make any and everything I do a successful endeavor.

ACTC has inspired me to become involved in my education and my community as well as with other students, Smith added. As part of the colleges peer mentoring program, she helps other students with the information and skills that they need to succeed.

New students can start on their general education classes this summer. For more information on business program options, contact John Davis, 606-326-2498, email: john.davis@kctcs.edu.