The Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) in Cumberland opened its doors in 1960. At that time, the campus functioned as an extension service of the University of Kentucky. Beginning in the 1980s, steady growth and high demand for the college’s services led to the founding of additional campuses. The Whitesburg campus began operations in 1990. Over the following 12 years, additional SKCTC campuses opened in Middlesboro, Pineville and Harlan. Since its founding, one of the core missions of SKCTC has been to bring educational and vocational training opportunities to an under-served region of Kentucky.
Students at Southeast Kentucky CTC choose from one of several programs of study. Associate’s of arts degrees prepare the graduate for transfer to a four-year institution. These transfer programs ensure that students have completed most general education requirements and are ready to enter the articulating institution at junior classification. For students not planning to work towards the baccalaureate, applied associate’s degrees provide in-depth training for a technical or health sciences career. SKCTC also offers certificate and diploma programs, some of which can be completed in less than a year.
The Certified Laboratory Technician program qualifies graduates to work in clinics, hospitals, blood and plasma clinics, and health departments. Before receiving the certificate, students must pass the Board of Registry exam sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Students have the option of continuing their studies at a later date, transferring certificate credits into a bachelor’s degree program in a number of fields, including pre-med, biology, chemistry and environmental science.
Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) makes modern industry and manufacturing possible. The CAD program at SKCTC trains students in the art and science of turning hand sketches and designs into workable blueprints. Graduates find employment in architecture, civil engineering and heavy industry. The CAD curriculum includes a great deal of lab work, as well as team projects. The ability to work well together is stressed throughout the program, as the drafter’s workplace will certainly require collaboration and communication.
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College prides itself on offering a wide variety of vocational development programs. The curriculum is designed with the region in mind, such that courses represent occupations available in southeastern Kentucky. Students can earn certificates and diplomas in fields such as air conditioner technology, mining technology, diesel technology and heavy equipment operations.
Distance learning at Southeast Kentucky CTC includes both online courses and interactive television (ITV) courses. Online courses feature a community user interface, with all materials available digitally. Communication is via e-mail, although some online courses have required face-to-face meetings as well. More than 1,000 students enroll in online courses each semester. Interactive television courses require classroom attendance. An instructor at another campus broadcasts his or her lecture to one or more observing campuses. Students at any of the campuses may ask questions of the instructor, just as in a traditional classroom.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Adult Basic Education
Adults who never graduated high-school can enhance their reading, writing and mathematical skills at one of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Centers sponsored by Southeast Kentucky CTC. Enrollment is free for eligible adults. Every community with an SKCTC campus also has a center for adult education. Instructors at the center provide tutoring in all basic subject areas, test preparation and a primer in computer usage skills. One of the center’s missions is to certify that adults are fully prepared to succeed on the GED exam. Adults with a GED or high school diploma and wishing to attend college can visit an Adult Education Center for refresher courses. All ABE participants take an entry exam to highlight weak points and help instructors design an individual study plan.
Prospective students should fill out an online application or print out a paper version and mail the completed document to one of the five Southeast Kentucky CTC campuses. High-school transcripts or GED exam results should also be provided. Applicants must sit for either the ACT, ASSET or COMPASS test. Low scores on the ACT test may require that the applicant take the COMPASS test for placement in remedial courses.
Transfer students must produce official transcripts of all completed college work. Additionally, prospective transfer students must follow the same procedures as all other applicants.
Immediately after applying for admission to Southeast Kentucky CTC, all students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. An online orientation program helps newcomers get acquainted with the campus, the registration process and student services.
Information provided by the student on the FAFSA helps financial aid officers at Southeast Kentucky CTC design an aid package that most closely fits the student’s needs. Financial aid is typically available in the form of scholarships and grants. As a community college with affordable tuition costs, loans are generally not necessary or encouraged.
Scholarship funds typically come from alumni and local organizations. Awards are based on both academic merit and financial need. Some scholarships are designated for students enrolled in particular programs. Scholarships are competitive as yearly funds are often limited.
The federal government administers Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants for students with financial need. These funds can be renewed each year, provided the student makes satisfactory progress. The state of Kentucky oversees the College Access Program (CAP), a grant for permanent residents with demonstrated need. Only students enrolled in degree-granting programs are eligible for CAP grant funds.
Student Financial Aid Details
Combined enrollment at all five Southeast Kentucky CTC campuses exceeds 5,000. More than 2,000 of these students are pursuing an associate’s degree. The vast majority of students are Kentucky residents. A few hundred come from neighboring counties in Virginia and Tennessee. Non-traditional students account for more than one-fifth of the student body.
As a commuter college, SKCTC does not offer campus housing, although dining services are available at the Cumberland and Middlesboro locations. A student health plan, provided via Appalachian Regional Hospital, covers basic medical needs at no direct cost to the recipient. Students can make an appointment at one of six clinic locations.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Half of Southeast Kentucky CTC’s 200-plus faculty members teach courses full-time. Less than ten percent of the faculty hold terminal degrees in their respective fields. The student to faculty ratio is a respectable 19 to 1.
- Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. 2011. Web. 1 August 2011.
- Petersons Two-year Colleges 2011. New Jersy: Peterson, 2010. Print.
- Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. 2011. 1 August 2011.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.