WKCTC's GED Plus Program Introduced at Open House
Program Offers Opportunity to Earn GED/College Credential at Same Time
Paducah, KY (08/09/2019) — Killing two birds with one stone is a saying that fits the GED Plus Program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College well.
The program is a statewide initiative of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) that provides individuals the opportunity to earn a GED and a college credential at the same time - tuition free.
Those who participate in the GED Plus Program can qualify for the Work Ready Skills Kentucky Scholarship in five high wage, high demand careers - healthcare, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, business/IT, and construction/trades. Certificates in these fields may be earned in four months or less. Currently state scholarship funds are also available for program books/materials, as well as funding to pay for the GED.
WKCTC, which is one of the 16 colleges of KCTCS introduced the GED Plus Program at its Skills U (formerly the Adult Education Learning Center) open house August 8.
WKCTC President Anton Reece addressed the audience, which included current GED Plus participants at the college, about removing barriers to higher education.
"We are poised and constantly thinking of ways of addressing barriers. I see my role and our role collectively (WKCTC) to help others find their voice," said Reece. "I have learned first-hand about the transformative power of education. Specifically, the way it boosts your self-esteem, your confidence."
In sharing the ancient Chinese proverb - the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - with the open house guests, Reece said "that one step may be small, but it's huge for people of various stages in life."
That first step came for Markuida Williams just over three years ago when she decided to earn her GED at WKCTC. After being laid off from her job, she knew she needed to make a change to build a better life for herself and her two kids.
"I needed this. I shouldn't have waited 16-17 years to come back to school, but it's better than not coming at all," said the 35-year-old McCracken County resident.
While continuing to work on obtaining her GED, Skills U Navigator (coach) Laurie Swick, who had been working with Williams on her GED preparation and testing, told her about the GED plus program.
"With me wanting to further my education, I just thought it would be a good idea," said Williams. "Normally you get your GED and then go back to try to get some kind of degree. The fact that I will be able to work with both of them, I think it helps me more...trying to catch all of it. That's what I'm doing right now," she said.
While continuing to work on earning her GED, Williams will begin taking her college classes at the same time this fall. Her classes for her GED will be in the morning and her college courses will be in the afternoon.
Williams, who has always had a passion for the healthcare profession, said it will take one step at time to reach her ultimate goal of becoming a nurse and to fulfill her passion to work with the elderly.
"It's coming. I'm not a quitter. I'm not going to stop."
Laurie Swick is the Skills U Navigator for Carlisle, Graves and McCracken counties. Christopher Hillebrand is the Skills U Navigator for Ballard, Calloway, Fulton, Hickman, Livingston and Marshall counties.
For more information about the GED plus program, contact WKCTC's Skill U director, Tammy Maines at firstname.lastname@example.org, 270-534-3156.