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July 8, 2019
Sometimes life throws you a curveball that changes everything. For Mollie Ratliff, it was having a child while in high school, which led her to drop out in order to grow up fast and take on new responsibilities.
Now, it’s Ratliff’s 11-year-old daughter (and 9-year-old son) who are again the catalyst for the Lawrence County, Ky., resident to take on new challenges, like earning her GED and college credentials at the same time.
“I want better for my kids, but I also want better for myself,” Ratliff said.
The 26-year-old started the GED Plus program in March with the goal of finishing her general education requirements as well as earning certificates in the Medicaid Nurse Aide and Phlebotomy programs. So far, she has completed both certificates and the social studies portion of the GED test. Her goal is the finish the other components — math, reading and science — before the end of summer.
Ratliff said she learned about the GED Plus program while visiting the Kentucky Skills U center (formerly Adult Education) in Lawrence County. After speaking with Chrisha Spears, GED Plus Success Coach at Ashland Community and Technical College, she decided to enroll and give it a shot.
“I thought, ‘OK, that’s something that I could do.’ And I went out on a limb with it and tried it,” Ratliff said. “I was really, really nervous. Because I was like, what if I can’t do it? What if I end up letting myself and my kids down? At first, I thought I would get into it and then it just not be for me. And I didn’t want to let my kids see me failing or quitting. Because I’ve always tried to teach them we aren’t quitters.”
The road to a GED while taking college classes hasn’t been an easy one, Ratliff said, but her children have given her the encouragement and support she needs.
“One day when I got home (from class) my daughter looked at me and asked me how it was going,” she said. “And I told her I didn’t know, that I wasn’t so sure about it. She said, ‘You can do it. You’re OK, you can do it.’ Then I was like, you know what? I can do it.”
Ratliff also said the Skills U and ACTC staff have been helpful during her time as a student.
“It’s hard. It’s harder than high school and I think that’s why a lot of people don’t even try to get their GED,” Ratliff said. “But it can be done. In Lawrence County, in Louisa, they are amazing. If you need help with something, they will sit down and explain it. They will help you the best that they can, because they want to see you better yourself too.”
The GED Plus program was launched earlier this year as a way to help those who do not have a high school diploma earn their credentials while co-enrolling in short-term college programs, allowing those students to enter the workforce faster. GED Plus is open to Kentucky adults who have not earned a high school diploma or GED. Those who have been out of school for a while sometimes have anxiety about college. GED Plus eliminates that concern because students receive one-on-one assistance from instructors and success coaches.
Prospective GED seekers must enroll at their local Skills U center, either in person or at https://gedplusky.org/get-started/. For those living in the FIVCO area, Skills U then sends the referral to Chrisha Spears at ACTC, who will follow up to set a meeting.
Spears is a recruiter for the program, academic advisor for the students in the program and success coach.
“I enroll them in classes, ensure they have assessment tests, schedule them for new student orientation and a final meeting to ensure that they are ready for GED and college,” Spears said. “And I send a roster to each ACTC instructor that is working with a GED Plus student. We then discuss how these students are different from traditional students, however are expected to achieve just like any other college student.
“As a success coach, I check in with the students multiple times throughout the semester, whether it be via email, phone or seeing them at the GED center. I may send them reminders to check something such as email or their Student Account Center. I may send them words of encouragement, whatever the situation needs. I also connect students to other services and resources.
Students may begin their GED at any time. For students who also want to earn their college credentials simultaneously, they must enroll an attend class based on college’s course schedule.
Programs that are eligible for the GED Plus program are:
Gas Welder, ARC Cutter, Electrician Trainee Level 1, Maintenance Mechanic Level I, Welder Helper and Tack Welder
Business and IT
A+ Prep, Net+ Prep and Security+ Prep
Phlebotomy for the Health Care Worker, Medicaid Nurse Aide and Certified Medical Technician
Transportation and Logistics
Automotive Air Conditioning Mechanic, Manual Transmission/Drive Train Technician, Brake Repair, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Technician, Engine Repair, Front End Mechanic, Automotive Electrician, Diesel Heavy Duty Drive Train Mechanic, Diesel Mechanics Fluid Power Mechanic, Diesel Steering and Suspension Mechanic, Heavy Duty Brake Mechanic Mobile Air Conditioning Mechanic, Preventive Maintenance Mechanic and Undercarriage Mechanic
Students who qualify for the GED Plus program can also take advantage of the Kentucky Work Ready Scholarship, which pays for tuition for short-term certificate programs.
The Boyd County Skills U center will have an open house event from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10 in Room 166 at ACTC’s College Drive Campus. There will be light refreshments and students can learn about the GED Plus program, meet with the Skills U instructors, complete a college application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms.
For more information about GED Plus, contact Spears at email@example.com or visit https://gedplusky.org/. To find your local Skills U center, visit http://kyskillsu.ky.gov/.
July 3, 2019
All ACTC campuses will be closed on Thursday in observance of the July 4 holiday.
June 26, 2019
The State Registered Nurse Aide (SRNA) course at ACTC can help people start on a career in health care. This 80-hour course provides knowledge and skills for nurse aides to assume the role and responsibility required in a long-term care setting. The focus is communication, infection control, safety, resident/patient rights and basic nursing skills.
The SRNA course can be a stepping stone to other health care positions, such as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or a health care administrator.
The summer session begins on July 15 and runs through Aug. 2. Class times are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Roberts Drive Campus.
There are four available classes starting in August for the first fall bi-term:
• Aug. 19-Oct. 13 — 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Technology Drive Campus.
• Aug. 19-Oct. 13 — 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays (class is partially online) at the Roberts Drive Campus.
• Aug. 20-Oct. 13 — 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Roberts Drive Campus.
• Aug. 20-Oct. 13— 3-7:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Technology Drive Campus.
Additional classes will be offered in October during the second fall bi-term.
Tuition for the class is $531 plus $11 liability insurance and the cost of required text book. Scrubs in ceil blue and tennis shoes (vinyl or leather) or nursing shoes are required. Stethoscope and blood pressure cuff are recommended.
A two-step tuberculosis test or proof you have had one in the last 12 months, or chest x-ray if you cannot be tested, is required and should be completed no later than the first week of classes. Hepatitis and flu vaccines are recommended but not required.
Each class has a required 16 hours of clinicals that will be scheduled by the instructor.
Placement testing is not required to take the SRNA class. However, if you are taking other classes in addition to this class, you will need to speak with the advising office to learn the requirements for those classes.
If you do not have a high school diploma or GED prior to enrolling, contact Chrisha Spears at 606-326-2425 or Chrisha.Spears@kctcs.edu to get information about ACTC’s GED Plus program.
Once students have completed the nurse aide class successfully with a grade of “C” or better, to be registered with the Commonwealth of Kentucky they are required to successfully pass the KY Nurse Aide Exam. The cost of the exam is $75 for the first attempt.
For more information, contact Robin Harris, coordinator of short-term health programs, at 606-326-2252 firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 24, 2019
Ashland Community and Technical College will have an open house and enrollment event from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 at the College Drive Campus in Ashland.
The event will include information about programs, financial aid, online classes and transfer options. Program faculty, advising, admission and financial aid representatives will be available to talk about career options, the application process and ways to pay for college.
The open house will include campus tours, refreshments and giveaways. The first 50 prospective students, new or returning, will receive a free movie ticket to KYOVA 10 Theater.
High school students and their parents, recent high school graduates and adults considering college for advancement are invited to come and learn about dozens of programs to help them prepare for high skill careers or for university transfer as a junior.
Registration for fall is ongoing, and the open house will help prospective students learn how to get enrolled. ACTC offers full semester and bi-term (half-semester) classes this fall. Aug. 5 is the application deadline, and classes start Aug. 19. Class schedules and admission forms are online at ashland.kctcs.edu.
June 17, 2019
Ashland Community and Technical College will host an information session for prospective students for the Computers and Information Technology, Business Administration and Medical Information Technology programs, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 at the Technology Drive Campus.
The hour-long session will include information on the structure of the program, credential options, online learning, internship opportunities and more. Admissions and financial aid staff will also be available to help people register for classes and answer questions on how to pay for college.
CIT program coordinator Randolph Cullum will discuss one of ACTC’s newest courses of study — Cloud Computing Technologies – that will help students learn cloud skills and help lead to a potentially high-paying career in cloud-computing right after graduation.
Beginning in the fall, the new track will offer two courses through Amazon Web Services Academy, including the AWS Academy Cloud Foundations course and the AWS Academy Cloud Architecting course.
ACTC will offer two credentials that include AWS Academy courses. The first credential is the Associate of Applied Science degree with a Cloud Computing Technologies Track. This track requires 61 credit hours and can be completed in five semesters, which includes one summer term. The second credential will focus on AWS Academy Cloud Architecting. It will require 19 hours of course work and can be completed in three semesters as a part-time student.
Both programs will prepare students to take the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Exam and the AWS Cloud Solutions Architect Associate Exam.
The last day to submit an application for the fall 2019 semester is Aug. 5. The first day of classes is Aug. 19.
To apply to ACTC online, visit ashland.kctcs.edu/admissions/start-your-application/index.aspx
June 6, 2019
Ashland Community and Technical College announced several faculty promotions, which will take effect July 1.
Lydia Osborne, of Ashland, promoted to assistant professor in the Associate Degree Nursing program.
Deena Howerton, of Greenup, promoted to associate professor in the Practical Nursing program.
Stephen Music, of Martha, promoted to associate professor in the Computerized Manufacturing and Machining program.
Susan Wallace-Vernatter, of South Point, promoted to associate professor in the Practical Nursing program.
Randolph Cullum, of Huntington, W.Va., promoted to professor in the Computers and Information Technology program.
Harold Henry, of Rush, promoted to professor in the Electrical Technology program.
Shannon McCarty, of Ironton, promoted to professor of the Diesel Technology program.
Aschalew Mengistu, of Ashland, promoted to professor of microbiology.
Laura Tussey, of Catlettsburg, promoted to professor in the Appalachian Studies program.
June 5, 2019
June 10 is the deadline to apply for ACTC’s final summer session. The term runs from June 24 to July 28.
Summer sessions offer advantages to new and continuing students alike. New students can get a head start on fall, continuing students can complete their college program in a shorter time and working adults can take classes for job advancement.
Most summer classes are three credit hours, and many are offered in the general education subjects that are required for associate and bachelor’s degrees.
Most summer courses are online, making it easier to fit college into vacation schedules.
Admission forms and class schedules are on the web at ashland.kctcs.edu. For more information, call the Admissions Office at 606-326-2000.
Financial Aid is available for summer classes. After filling out the ACTC admissions form, new students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available online at www.fasfa.gov.
For help with the FAFSA or to pre-determine your eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant or other aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid, 1-855-246-2282.
Summer II Courses
Course offered on the College Drive Campus are: Human anatomy and physiology II and general college chemistry II with lab.
Online course are: Managerial accounting, intro to cultural anthropology, intro to art, personal finance, principles of marketing, intro to biology, intro to computers, intro to interpersonal communication, principles of macroeconomics, writing I, writing II, lands and people of the non-Western world, history of the U.S. through 1865, history of the U.S. since 1865, Native American history 1865-present, intro to the humanities, medical office software, general psychology, developmental psychology, modern social problems and development of social welfare.
June 3, 2019
Ashland Community and Technical College is offering students one-stop enrollment opportunities this month.
Pop In, Sign Up will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 11-13 at the Technology Drive Campus.
“We know that many prospective students are uncertain about how to enroll, and we want to make the process as easy as possible,” said Steve Woodburn, Dean of Student Success and Enrollment Services.
New students can come to the Technology Drive Campus on June 11, 12 or 13 for one-on-one advising to learn about enrollment, financial aid, class scheduling and other items they need to complete for the fall semester. Many students should be able to finish the process during their advising session, and any required tests can be scheduled as well.
Note: To register for classes, you may need to complete placement testing. If so, please arrive no later than 1 p.m.
The last day to submit an application for admission for the fall semester is Aug. 5. Classes begin on Aug. 19.
May 20, 2019
Dr. Larry Ferguson, who started his higher education journey as a student at his hometown community college, was officially inaugurated as the president and CEO of that college, Ashland Community and Technical College, during the commencement ceremony on Monday, May 13 at the Paramount Arts Center.
Dr. Jay Box, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, performed the inauguration ceremony.
“It is with great honor that I accept the appointment of president of Ashland Community and Technical College,” Ferguson said during the ceremony. “It is where I, too, started my higher education journey and I look forward to each day where we strive to best support our students in reaching their dreams.”
Before beginning his appointment at ACTC in October 2018, Ferguson formerly served as the vice president for resource development for KCTCS, where his responsibilities included overseeing advancement, grants, contracts and alumni affairs and serving as the executive director of the KCTCS Foundation.
Ferguson, an Ashland native, graduated from Boyd County High School in 1986 and from Ashland Community College, an ACTC Predecessor, in 1991. At ACC, he earned an associate degree with a focus on communications. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational leadership and a Master of Science degree in strategic leadership from Mountain State University. His Doctorate in Educational Leadership is from Trident University.
While working on his higher degrees, Ferguson remained close to home as manager of leadership development at King’s Daughters Medical Center and an instructor at ACTC and the University of Charleston. He became ACTC’s Director of Business and Industry Services in 2007.
At ACTC, Ferguson headed the Community, Workforce and Education Department (CWED) which provided programs, trainings and services to individuals and the business community. CWED later became the Workforce Solutions Department with a variety of workforce educations programs and services. He served in several workforce and economic development leadership positions before becoming dean of resource development and external affairs.
Ferguson also served as president of Bevill State Community College in Jasper, Ala.
In 2014 Ferguson was tapped to be the KCTCS Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Workforce Solutions. Before returned to ACTC last fall, he was serving as vice president and acting chancellor for KCTCS.
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