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TheLevisaLazer.com - Education

Sept. 2, 2014

ACTC Named a Top College...

Ashland Community and Technical College is one of the country’s Top Two-Year Colleges according to the Community College Week 2014 Special Report published last month.

ACTC was named one of the country’s Top 50 Two-Year Colleges in the number of Associate Degrees awarded for Science Technologies/Technicians. This is ACTC’s second year to receive this ranking, and ACTC was the only Kentucky college included in this category.

“We know the importance of science and technology to the future of our economy and to career opportunities for our graduates,” said Dr. Kay Adkins, ACTC President and CEO.  “We are pleased to see an increase in the number of students who are interested in these important fields.”

ACTC was also ranked as one of the Top 100 Two-Year Colleges in the number of one-year certificates awarded.  Certificates help prepare students for immediate employment when they graduate or while they are working on other college credentials.  “I think it is significant that ACTC is able to accomplish as much as many larger colleges in preparing students for the workforce,” Dr. Adkins said.

ACTC awarded 1,042 certificates last year, and some students earned more than one certificate. In most fields, students can earn additional certificates to get a diploma and then add general education courses for an associate degree.

ACTC offers certificates in technical fields such as Cosmetology, Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Air Conditioning, Auto, Diesel, Electrical, Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool and Welding Technologies; in Associate Degree fields such as Business, Computers and Information Technology, Criminal Justice and Culinary Arts; and in health care fields such as Pharmacy, EMT, EMS Paramedic, Medicaid Nurse Aid and Kentucky Medication Aide.

The Community College Week Special Report on the Top 100 degree and certificate producing two-year institutions used U.S. Department of Education data on the number of credentials awarded during the 2013-2014 academic year.  The report published August 18, 2014 can be seen in its entirety at http://ccweek.com.

Apply Now for Bi-Term Classes

October 6 is the application deadline for fall bi-term classes at ACTC. Bi-term classes are eight-weeks long, half the length of traditional semester classes. They have the same content as semester-long classes, but cover the content in a shorter time.

Bi-term classes offer a ‘second chance’ for new students who want to start classes this fall. Bi-term classes also offer current students the chance to add a class to their schedule.  This can be particularly useful to part-time students who started with one or two classes and are ready to add one more.

Students can take up to seven credit hours of classes in general education subjects appropriate for most new students. Many of the classes are offered online.

General Education classes include Intro to Art, Writing I, Writing II, Intro to Personal Communications, General Psychology, Intro to Sociology and Modern Social Problems.

Also offered are Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting, Basic Algebra and Technical Algebra & Trigonometry, Intro to Computers, and several classes in Electricity, Computer Aided Drafting & Design and Information Technology.

Bi-term classes start October 20, and new students must complete the application process, including orientation and placement testing, by October 6   Admissions forms and information are online at: ashland.kctcs.edu/admissions.  Bi-term class information is online at: ashland.kctcs.edu/bi-term.

New students enrolling only in the bi-term session may be eligible for financial aid.  To apply for financial aid, complete the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. For more information, call 855-246-2282.

Currently enrolled students are not eligible to receive additional financial aid for bi-term classes added to their schedules, and visiting students are not eligible to receive financial aid through ACTC. Also, the Tuition Payment Plan is not available for bi-term classes.

For more information on bit-term enrollment, call 606-326-2040 or 606-326-2228.

Grayson Lake Cleanup September 27

Area residents are invited to help ACTC students, employees and their families clean up Grayson Lake State Park. “This is a good opportunity to help make our area a better place to live,” said Shawn Brown, ACTC Assistant Professor and one of the cleanup organizers.

The cleanup is a community service project organized by Brown and ACTC Professor David Childress several years ago to help the US Army Corps of Engineers and Marathon Petroleum Corporation gather up trash from the park’s public areas.

ACTC’s participation began as a grant-funded service learning project in Brown’s Introduction to Computers class. Service Learning is an opportunity for students to give back to the community and learn while doing so. Faculty and staff became involved in the cleanup as a community service project they could do with their families.

“The Grayson Lake cleanup involves environmental education, Service Learning, volunteerism and a strong sense of accomplishment,” said Childress.  “It has inspired a number of my Introduction to Computer students to create PowerPoint presentations on "Going Green" and promote conservation and recycling.”

Although the grant funds that started the project ended some time ago, the cleanup continues because of its benefit both to the participants and to the community.  “Marathon Marine has been helping for the past four years, and we’ve had Cub Scouts, Girls Scouts and several service groups join us in past cleanups. We’re glad to have everyone’s help,” Brown said.

Anyone who wants to participate needs to sign up by September 9 with Shawn.Brown@kctcs.edu or David.Childress@kctcs.edu and should include the number of people in the group. Children are welcome as long as they are closely supervised.

The cleanup will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until about 2:00 p.m. Grayson Lake is about 40 miles from Ashland, and participants will meet at 50 Launch Ramp Road in Grayson.  Participants will need to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated and should wear work clothes and closed-toed shoes, with an extra layer of clothing for cool weather.

“There will be several opportunities throughout the day to walk, drive or ride on a boat to accomplish the necessary tasks,” Brown said. “We will be picking up trash and people should be prepared to get their hands dirty – or wear gloves.” Past cleanups have resulted in filling an entire portable trash unit plus tires and other items that are disposed of separately.

“This cleanup is a chance to improve our environment while we work with others and build camaraderie,” Brown added. “It’s a very worthwhile event for everyone involved.”

GED Vouchers Still Available

Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) vouchers for the GED test are still available to eligible adults. The $20 vouchers for each module of the GED test can result in a savings of $80 for the full battery of four testing modules.

“We are really excited about this opportunity for eligible adults to take each GED test module for just $10,” said Penny Qualls, Director for the Boyd County Adult Education Program located at ACTC’s College Drive Campus.

“We know that passing the GED test opens doors to the future by helping adults prepare for college and job training and to get better jobs,” Qualls said.  “We encourage everyone to spread the word about this promotion. It will only last as long as vouchers are available from KYAE, so people need to come in as soon as possible.”

The computer-based test, which was launched last January, consists of four modules: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies. The modules can be taken one at a time.

The Adult Education Center offers free classes to help adults prepare for the GED as well as college entrance tests. For more information, call 606-326-2437 or 606-326-2457, email Penny.Qualls@kctcs.edu or click on: Facebook.com/ACTC Adult Learning Center.

 

August 20, 2014

BOE votes 3-2 on 2 cent tax raise;

Efforts for Community College in courthouse annex underway...

 

Jacob Osborne, Cole McCreary, Jacob West, Ben Mattingly, Laken  Fitch, Abby Haynes (Absent: Ashleigh Adkins and Warren Price)Jacob Osborne, Cole McCreary, Jacob West, Ben Mattingly, Laken Fitch, Abby Haynes (Absent: Ashleigh Adkins and Warren Price)

The meeting was called to order and the Pledge of Allegiance was said.
 

First up the Kentucky Governor's Scholars students explained to the Lawrence Co. BOE how they had enjoyed their experience and what they had learned from it. Jacon Osborne, Cole McCreary, Jacob West, Ben Mattingly, Laken Fitch, Abby Haynes, Ashleigh Adkins and Warren Price were the eight students that were selected from Lawrence County.

The Governor's Scholars Program is a summer residential program for outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors. Students who are selected attend the Program without charge. In the spirit of partnership, the Office of the Governor, the Kentucky State Legislature, and private enterprise come together to provide the financial support for the Program. The mission is to enhance Kentucky's next generation of civic and economic leaders.

The students explained that not only was the experience educational but it had help them to become more confident in their lives.

BOE chairman Jim See asked them what the greatest challenge was during the summer and most of them said it was being away from home and not being able to have their cell phones.

One student said that she looks forward to attending college and even though she didn't have her cell phone, she was perfectly fine without it.

Supt. Dr. Robbie Fletcher explained that for Lawrence County to send eight students was "awesome" and on behalf of the the Board gave each of them a certificate.
 

New tradition?

Dr. Fletcher explained that the school system is going to start a new tradition.

There will be a picture banner on each of the playing fields. Any group that competes and represents Lawrence County will have a banner made up of those seniors. The first of these is the fall group, Football, Cheerleaders, ROTC, Band, Soccer and Volleyball. He went on to explain that all the photos will be put together to be hung in the school.
 

Lawrence County Staff and Community Partners had their breakfast kick off to start the school year. The staff and administration served the food. The Community Partners are KEA, Modern Woodman, TRMC and Heath Preston who made their donations for the breakfast. Dr. Fletcher was the speaker.

Board members Garnett Skaggs, Heath Preston and Barb Robinson at Monday's meetingBoard members Garnett Skaggs, Heath Preston and Barb Robinson at Monday's meeting

Efforts for Community College in courthouse annex

Dr. Fletcher explained that County Judge John Osborne along with the fiscal court is working hard to try to get an extended campus here in our community at the courthouse annex which was emptied when the new $20 million state courthouse was built on U.S. 23. They are offering the annex free of charge to try to get this going. Dr. Atkins from ACTCS will be meeting with them next week to try to help write a grant to get this underway. There is also interest from EKU and Kentucky State, Fletcher said..

District of Innovation on August 20th  there will be a think tank at the University of Kentucky  to research district of innovation. By the next board meeting there will be more information.
Dr. Fletcher will be speaking at the Kentucky Continuous Improvement Summit on September 22 and 23. He has been asked to present Best Practice in a 30 min time frame in the school setting. He was asked to go speak on his time as principal at Sheldon Clark but since Lawrence County also has 30 min classes then he will be using both schools to present. He will also be talking about the RTI.

 

Focus

* Response to Intervention Focus is what the schools have been asked to do. This is to help identify those students who are falling behind and how to help them to do better, Also, those students that are excelling that are getting bored in class to be challenged and not fall behind.
 

* The Mobile Dental Hygiene Grant was Awarded to LC Health Department. The grant will allow the Health Department to provide and serve all LC students. This grant was $160,000. LC will be the Primary site and will also help out Martin County as well. In two months it should take shape. 

* Terry Salyer, Energy Manager spoke to the board about a report that he submits monthly to the superintendent. Energy costs are up but there were reasons for that. He explained that some places are in process to put in solar panels and other things to save on energy. He also explained that everyone should be aware and to help conserve energy.

 

Public Comments...

Madlene Roberts checks figures during the meetingMadlene Roberts checks figures during the meetingA Lady from Blaine who did not identify herself explained that her 13 year old sister that was bused in from Blaine to the Middle School was told that she could no longer go to school there.

She was concerned that it is three weeks into school and she is just now told this.The reason that she doesn't go to Blaine it that there is more offered for her at the Middle School. She said that it is in the policy that she can not come in and that there are others that are being bused in.

She asked that it be looked into and addressed by Dr. Fletcher.

Ruth West asked Mr. Salyer a few questions on the energy project.

Sports

Heath Preston explained that there is a Mod Sled that is on the practice field and that it is rusted and the pads have rotted off of it. He stated that he felt that it needed to be fixed or either got rid of. He said that it is a safety hazard and that there are kids playing on it. Replacement pads are around $1,800, but a new one would be $6,000 or $7,000. 

"One trip to the emergency room if they slip off that thing is going to be more than $1,800." Explained Preston.Number two Preston explained that the Concession Stand is leaking and it needs to be addressed. He went on to state that him and some of his board members from the

Youth League had went in and fixed what they could out of their own pocket but this needed to be taken care of.

Bad odor at Blaine, Skaggs says

Garnett Skaggs explained that last year the sewer was worked on at Blaine and that the smell is still really bad and needs to be addressed. "Something needs to be done. Those kids and no one else needs to be smelling that sewer." Said Skaggs.

 

Other BOE items...

* Heath Preston made a motion to accept the Minutes from July 21, 2014 Regular Meeting and Skaggs second and all were in favor.

* Monthly Finance report was approved with a motion from Madlenne Roberts with Preston second all were in favor.

* Roberts made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda pending the proof of insurance from LWE and Barbra Robinson second all were in favor. Robinson made the motion to approve the second reading of updates to allow electronic signatures in lieu of sick card affidavits with no changes from first readings and Roberts second all were in favor.

* It was asked that the board approve to allow to bid security for all six schools. This is to add a buzz-in at all schools. The money for this would come from left over construction funds that can also be used for security. This will cost around $30,000, pending bids. Skaggs made a motion to allow bids and Roberts second it. All were in favor.

Approving the 2014-2015 Tax Rate brings board split

BOE chairman Jim See said he could not see raising property taxes at this time. Lazer photo by Elizabeth MooreBOE chairman Jim See said he could not see raising property taxes at this time. Lazer photo by Elizabeth MooreThere was discussion on why the Gas and Oil is included in Property tax. The Lawrence County Sheriff Office collected $3,130,999 in taxes last year and was compensated around $94,000 for their collection of the taxes. The current real estate and personal property tax rate is 49.9 and motor vehicle rate is 22 LC has the lowest motor vehicle rate in the state.

Mr. See stated that he takes a stand not to raise tax but he understood that there had to be a slight raise. He purposed to use 51.5 on property tax witch is under the 53 that the revenue departmernt listed as the compensating rate, and suggested a raise in the motor vehicle tax by a few cents. 

"I just don't feel like we in LC, considering all the economic things that have happened and see will happen, can not afford to raise taxes," See said.

Garnett Skaggs explained that last year the sewer was worked on at Blaine and that the smell is still really bad and needs to be addressed. Garnett Skaggs explained that last year the sewer was worked on at Blaine and that the smell is still really bad and needs to be addressed. With the deadline looming next week the board could not table this matter.

Garnett Skaggs made a motion to make the property tax the compensating rate of 53 and motor vehicle to raise five cents. Robinson made a second and the motion failed.

Preston explained that he felt that it would be hard to tax more at this time.

Roberts made a motion to raise the property tax to 52 with the motor vehicle to raise five cents.

There was a split vote but the motion carried. Preston and See voted no.

Robinson made a motion to approve the Sheriff Collection fee Rate to stay at three percent and Roberts second it. All were in favor.

* Preston made a motion to approve District Indirect Cost Rate and Skaggs second it with all in favor.

* Robinson nominated Mr. See to continue to be the representative for District Improvement Planning and Roberts second. All in favor.

* Preston made a motion to add the class presidents to the District Improvement Planning Committee. Robinson second and all were in favor.

* Preston motioned to approve the Non-Traditional Instruction Application and Roberts second with all in favor.

Heath Preston suggested that the board jump to Executive Session to discuss student discipline since it was getting late and then finish once that was taken care of. Scaggs second and all were in favor.

No action taken.

Preston made a motion to approve Memorandum of Agreement with Commonwealth of Kentucky and Morehead State and Skaggs second all were in favor.

Skaggs made a motion to approve MOA dual credit between ACTCS, LCHS, and LC Board of Education and Roberts second all were in favor.

Roberts made a motion to approve all three items of New Business and Skaggs second with all in favor.

Robinson made a motion to allow maternity leave for Scott Johnson and Roberts second all were in favor. 

 

Superintendents Personnel Action/Update



 

ACTC Surgical Technology Program Receives National Award

The Surgical Technology Program at Ashland Community and Technical College has received a Certificate of Merit from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

The annual merit award recognizes ACTC’s role as a leader in the field of surgical technology education. The award was given for achieving a 100% pass rate on the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam for the 2013-14 academic year.

The CST exam is widely recognized in the health care community as the foremost credential for surgical technologists in the nation. The CST is the country’s only fully accredited examination by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies for surgical technologists and is required for employment within many local, state and national health care organizations.

“We are gratified to receive this recognition of achievement,” said ACTC President Kay Adkins. “We constantly strive for excellence in education. This Certificate of Merit affirms the success of our faculty and Surgical Technology Program Coordinator Jacqueline Cavins in supporting outstanding student achievement.”

The Surgical Technology Program is a three-semester diploma programs that prepares graduates for the national exam and employment primarily in hospital operating rooms.  For more information, contact Professor Cavins, 606.326.2006 or email: jacqueline.cavins@kctcs.edu.

Apply Now for ACTC Surgical Technology Program

October 1 is the application deadline for the Surgical Technology Program that begins next spring at ACTC.

The Surgical Technology program prepares students for the national certification exam and employment in operating rooms, private or public hospitals and clinics.  "The program requires a lot of study," said Jacqueline Cavins, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, "but it pays off when our graduates do well on the national certification exam.”

“When we took our certification test, I felt really prepared and confident in myself,” said Russell Griffith, a 2008 Surgical Technology graduate now working at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.  His job as a Surgical Technologist has included work with the DaVinci Surgical System.

A 2004 Boyd County High School graduate, he started at ACTC to become a respiratory therapist but moved to surgical technology because of his positive experiences with the faculty.

“Everything I learned helped prepare me for what I do today,” he said. “Professor Cavins and Dr. Mary Catherine Flath were a big part of my success. They saw something in me and pushed me to become a good student and an even a better person. I probably wouldn't have finished if it wasn't for them and my family.”

Surgical Technologists assist in preparing operating rooms for surgery, assist doctors during surgery by handing them needed instruments and counting sponges and needles before and after the operation, and deliver specimens to hospital labs for analysis.

“I love surgical technology as a job,” said Megan Blevins, a Certified Surgical Technician at Cabell-Huntington Hospital. A Catlettsburg resident, she graduated from ACTC in December 2012 and passed the surgical certification test on the first try. “Professor Cavins made sure we were well prepared for the certification test, and we were prepared above and beyond what was expected to start in the operating room,” Blevins said.

The three-semester diploma program at the College Drive Campus includes basic sciences, surgical decorum and protocol, and technical skills for assisting surgeons in the operating room. Students learn on real operating room equipment, with hundreds of surgical instruments. They practice operating room set-ups in class to get comfortable with procedures before going to clinicals at area hospitals.

Some graduates may also opt for an Associate in Applied Science General Occupational/ Technical Studies degree.  The degree requires at least 15 additional hours of transferable general education.

The Surgical Technology program is accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education. Program graduates take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting certification exam which provides a benchmark measurement of the knowledge acquired by students - and the knowledge needed for success in the field.

“The program is fast paced and it energizes you – you learn so much about surgical tech without feeling overwhelmed,” said Tessa Ellis, a December 2012 Surgical Technology graduate.  A Louisa native and 2009 Lawrence County High School graduate, she is now a surgical technician at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington.

“Surgical tech can be a great stepping stone to other health care fields,” Ellis said. “This is something I could do for the rest of my life but it also gives me choices.”

Graduates work in health facilities throughout the region.  "I regularly get calls from hospitals in the Tri-State seeking surgical technologist," Cavins said.  “Many of our students have job offers before they graduate, and quite a few of those jobs are at the hospitals that serve as our clinical sites.”

“The hospital sites also sometimes hire our students to work in support positions while they finish their classes,” Cavins added.

Surgical Technology is a selective admission programs. Prospective students need to complete a Surgical Technology application, and applicants who are not current ACTC students also need to complete the ACTC application process.

To be admitted to the program, students must pass the COMPASS/ACT at the required level and attend a pre-conference session, available on line.  Prior to starting classes, CPR certification must be obtained and prerequisite courses and a health profile must be completed.

Applications are available online at ashland.kctcs.edu and in the Admissions Offices at the College Drive and Technology Drive Campuses. To request applications, call ACTC Admissions, 606-326-2000 or 800-928-4256.  Application to the program does not guarantee admission.

“The best thing about the program is that in just a year and a half I was ready for a good job,” Ellis said. “I’m earning good money and am able to be out on my own.  And I know there are good jobs out there wherever I want to go,” Ellis said.

The job outlook for surgical technologists is very positive.  Employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, a, much faster than the average for all occupations according to the US Department of Labor Job Outlook.  Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being used to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.

“I had some of the best experiences at ACTC,” said Griffith. “Our Surgical Technology class was a very close class, and I am still in contact with some of my classmates today.  I would recommend ACTC’s surgical technology program to everybody. The faculty and staff really know what they are talking about.”

For more information on Surgical Technology, contact Professor Cavins, 606-326-2006 or email: jaqueline.cavins@kctcs.edu.

Diversity Conference Reminder

The 1st Annual Tri-State Conference on Diversity and Inclusion will take place Friday, Sept. 5, from 8 AM to 3:30 PM at Ohio University Southern in Ironton, OH.

Educators, college and high school students, counselors and area residents are invited to the conference on “Reinventing Diversity.” Participants will learn about innovative practices that encourage individuals and organizations to build a productive and collaborative work environment in which all people are included.

ACTC and seven other higher education institutions are cosponsoring the conference to promote a community dialogue about equity, opportunity and diversity.

The conference fee is $35 per person or $15 for secondary and post-secondary students.  The fee includes a keynote address, workshops, continental breakfast and luncheon. Register online at: www.tristatediversityandinclusion.com.

ACTC Closed Labor Day

ACTC will be closed Monday, Sept. 1 for Labor Day.  Normal class and office hours resume Tuesday, Sept. 2.

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