October 2019 Update
I'm told that fall has begun, but the 90 plus temperatures in October are not exactly how I envisioned fall in Kentucky. Is it true that the real fall arrives with Keeneland? Regardless of the heat, we have had a very successful start to our fall semester at BCTC.
As you know, September was all about the final touches for the SACSCOC team visit this past week. I'm pleased to report the visit was a success. Of the 78 standards reviewed, we had only four standards that we will need to address, so well done! From the data you pulled together about your areas, to the spotless facilities, to the digital team that was on call to mitigate any issue, to the finely tuned schedule for our visitors, you made a fabulous impression. The committee could not say enough about our preparation and impeccable hospitality. I thank each and every one of you for coming through in different roles and capacities for BCTC, telling the story of our great college!!
Also this fall, we begin the advising redesign that emphasizes our Students First mission. Statistics show that about 30 percent of freshmen drop out during or just after the end of their first year of college. However, research also shows that students who receive some coaching in that first year, in the form of support from faculty and staff, are 14 percent more likely to complete. So, what can we do about this? Redesign our advising process.
Our new advising process creates a high touch/high impact approach to new student advising, pairing a professional advisor and student. The main feature of the redesign is the assignment of an advisor to each student as soon as he/she enrolls in courses. This advisor serves as the primary support to the student by reaching out via email, phone, or text to provide assistance and encouragement during the critical first weeks. The student then transitions to a full-time faculty advisor during priority enrollment. Our goal is to help students create a network of support that they can turn to during the first semester. I'm excited to see the impact of the commitment we have made to our students.
I'm also excited to tell you the results of our Students First employee campaign this fall. As of September 30, 2019, 230 employees have given $14,193, which is a 25 percent increase from the previous year. We are pleased to celebrate 45 percent of all employees are participating this year. While the campaign itself has ended, we are still receiving donations from faculty and staff and will continue to track them through June 30, 2020. Thank you to all who are participating!
Finally, we are so pleased to have not one, but two groundbreakings this fall. Thanks to all of you who were able to attend our Danville-Boyle County Advanced Manufacturing Center groundbreaking this past month. We had over 100 people celebrate the beginnings of this asset to the Danville Campus and the communities it will serve. Our next groundbreaking is for The Den, formerly the laundry building, on the Newtown Campus, October 18, 2019 at 10 a.m. We're excited to break ground on the newest addition to Newtown Campus, a state-of-the-art one-stop location for new BCTC students. I hope you will be able to join us. As you can see, it has been a busy month, and we are looking forward to all October will bring.
Take a moment today to put a student first and see how it changes your day!
Dr. Koffi Akakpo