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BLuegrass News

Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky: Education and Training on the Fast Track

Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky is a new program at BCTC that promotes improved academic access and economic opportunity for low-skilled adults. This program supports efforts to reform adult basic education and postsecondary systems by integrating basic skills with occupational training and adequate institutional support for adult learners.

The Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky program is supported by a 1.6 million three-year grant awarded to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) in partnership with Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The program seeks to change the way adult education is delivered by putting adult students on track to earn a postsecondary credential so they can seize the opportunity to earn family-sustaining wages and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Eight KCTCS colleges are participating in the Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky program, with each college offering programs geared to what businesses in those areas need.

With this new program, students earn college-level professional technical credits that are a part of a career pathway. A basic skills instructor and an instructor from a professional-technical program teach jointly in the same classroom. At BCTC, Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky program students can obtain a GED and a certificate in either office systems technology or construction technology in as little as 16 weeks. 

Construction Technology

carpentryStudents enrolled in the Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky program at BCTC earn a basic carpentry certificate. Depending upon a student’s credentials, place of employment and area of expertise starting salaries vary from $16 to $22 per hour. Students of construction technology learn the basic engineering principles and technical skills necessary to help engineers and other professionals supervise the construction of buildings and other structures.

Construction jobs are currently in the top five percent nationally for future growth. Employment in Central Kentucky remains strong and is above the national average in homebuilding. Graduates of the construction technology program can expect to find employment with heavy and light commercial companies, bridge building companies, residential builders or can be self-employed.

After completing the Accelerating Operation Kentucky program, students can continue their education in the construction technology program at BCTC where they can earn an associate in applied science degree in construction technology, a diploma in construction carpentry and seven certificates.

To find out more about BCTC’s construction technology program visit www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu/Academics/Programs_of_Study/Construction_Technology.aspx

Office Systems Technology

Offics SystemsAccelerating Opportunity Kentucky program students in office systems technology can earn a data entry operator certificate and a receptionist certificate. Graduates of the program can expect to earn $8 to $15 per hour depending on place of employment.

Office systems technology employees work in professional offices, education, government, businesses and industries. Job titles may include administrative assistant, office assistant, office manager and financial assistant. Workers in this field support and help facilitate accurate communication and information exchange to internal and external customers. Employment in these occupations is expected to grow by eight percent, adding 1.8 million new jobs by 2018.

Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky students who earn certificates in office system technology have the opportunity to pursue an associate in applied science degree with five options, six diplomas or 14 certificates in office systems technology at BCTC.

For information on BCTC’s office systems technology program visit www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu/Academics/Programs_of_Study/Office_Systems_Technology.aspx.

Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky is a community college initiative of Jobs for the Future, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, and in partnership with Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the National Council for Workforce Education, and the National College Transition Network. The Accelerating Opportunity initiative is a partnership between KCTCS, Kentucky Adult Education and Kentucky Career Centers. Kentucky is only one of four states in receipt of the 1.6 million three year grant.

More information about Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky can be found at www.acceleratingopportunity.org or by contacting BCTC’s Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky program coordinator, Wilma Clapp at (859) 246-6821 or e-mail wilma.clapp@kctcs.edu.