Letters from Dr. Akakpo | BCTC

Letters from Dr. Akakpo

May 5, 2022

Dear Students,

You made it. The semester is at its end and graduation is this Saturday! I'm very proud of all you have accomplished this school year.

Whether you are a graduate or attendee, you can find details about graduation on our website.

We need all graduates to arrive by 9 a.m. to get lined up, as your family and friends find their seats. Faculty and staff are looking forward to watching our graduates cross the stage for the first time in two years!

If you are still working on your degree, I encourage you to enroll for summer and fall classes before you leave campus this week or come back for Post Finals Advising May 9-12. Remember, if you enroll by May 13, you will be eligible for the enrollment incentives, including five laptops, $100 gift cards and free tuition for fall.

Our final why story for the semester comes from Brandon Schmidt, sociology faculty.

Brandon Schmidt"Like our students, I started my educational career by attending a Community College and earning my A.A. degree. When I was hired, I knew I had found my place at BCTC. Each semester, I get to meet our outstanding students and walk alongside them, guiding them to meet their educational goals. I believe it is essential to implement a student-first teaching philosophy to tailor each of my classes to our diverse student population and meet the demands of our students, especially those who have been historically underserved. I hope that all my students can develop academically and personally in every one of the classes they take with me as I challenge them to do so. I firmly believe in the mission of BCTC and the work that we do in the community."

If this is your last semester with us, thank you for allowing us to participate your educational journey. I wish you much success! If you're continuing on with us, I look forward to seeing you this summer or fall.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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Past Letters

2022

April 28, 2022

Dear Students,

We are entering our last week of the spring semester, and what a semester it has been. We began 2022 with high hopes that COVID was moving into the rearview mirror, only to have it return with the Omicron variant that made us gather remotely at the beginning of the semester.

Then, the snow and ice storms came. However, nothing could keep you or our BCTC faculty and staff from working hard, staying committed, and finishing strong. You will hear multiple times in the next two weeks, as we celebrate all you have accomplished, how proud I am of you. Your tenacity and determination to succeed no matter the obstacles thrown at you are remarkable. Well done!

You want to keep that winning streak going by registering for the fall semester. Students who enroll or sign up for an advising appointment before May 13 will receive BCTC swag and be eligible to win a laptop computer, a weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, a $100 gift card, and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. Many of you have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. Make an appointment with your advisor today. This week's bookstore winner is Tiffany Thomas. Congratulations!

As you think about enrolling for fall, could you or someone you know use some help preparing for fall classes? The FREE BCTC Success Academy will help you prepare this summer for fall courses at absolutely no charge. Sessions will take place in May, June, and July. Success Academy is designed to assist developmental mathematics, English, and reading students with improving their college readiness placement. You are encouraged to register if you are enrolled in MAT 011, MAT 075, ENC 091, or IRW 085 for fall 2022. Those who complete the academy will receive a $600 scholarship for fall tuition.

For some of you, tonight begins the graduation festivities with the GAR ceremony where we celebrate our outstanding graduates. For those who can't attend, we're offering a virtual option.

Next week leading up to graduation on May 7, we have department award ceremonies and pinnings. We love to celebrate the specific work you have done to accomplish your goals, all leading up to the grand finale…graduation.

You can find details about Graduation here. We encourage all graduates to arrive by 9 a.m. to get lined up as your family and friends find their seats. Faculty and staff are looking forward to watching our graduates cross the stage for the first time in two years!

But before all of that happens, you need to focus on and complete your final exams next week. I know you will do great! We are so pleased that you have chosen BCTC and look forward to continuing with you this fall or celebrating your accomplishments this week.

Our why story this week comes from Dr. Karen Mayo, Associate Vice President, Academics and Workforce Development.

Dr. Karen Mayo"Access to higher education has significantly and positively affected my life. Therefore, I want to help others have the same advantage of access to higher education and assist them in achieving success. I come to work each day with the goal of making a positive difference. That difference may be as simple as a smile, promptly returning an email, providing direction, or patiently listening. Regardless of whether the gesture is simple or more complex, how I make someone feel can significantly impact their day or next steps at BCTC. Therefore, my why is simple, to make sure you achieve your educational goals and dreams."

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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April 14, 2022

Dear Students,

We're getting closer and closer to the end of the semester. I hope you are getting the assistance you need to finish strong! Don't forget we have many resources for you at The Student Success Hub.

Have you registered for the fall semester? Open registration is going on now, and we're excited about our campaign to help you get enrolled for fall classes! Students who enroll or sign up for an advising appointment will receive BCTC swag and be eligible to win a laptop computer, a weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, a $100 gift card, and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. Many of you have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. Make an appointment with your advisor today. This week's bookstore winner is Chara Stephens. Congratulations!

For those of you who are graduating, the day we've been waiting for will soon be here. Our commencement is May 7, 2022. For the first time in two years, we will get to see you walk across the stage at our commencement ceremony at the EKU Alumni Coliseum. We are very excited!

If you have kids who are outgrowing their clothes, I have news for you. On Wednesday, April 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., BCTC faculty and staff will host a kids' clothing event. You can select gently used items for your children and all items are FREE! The clothing donated will be in good condition, without stains, and include preemie-Youth XL sizes.  The event will be held on the Newtown Campus in the Classroom Building rooms 105 and 106.

Finally, I'd like to brag on our Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) students who won first place in several events at the Spring Leadership Conference at Georgetown College. In addition, Alex Stern was named PBL's state vice president. Congratulations Tinika Moses, Keith Goodwin, Will Smiley, Alex Stern, and faculty advisor Mark Bell; your hard work and dedication certainly paid off!

Dr. Koffi AkakpoAccording to Denzel Washington, "at the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished… It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back." Growing up as a young boy, my passion was always about who I lifted up and who I made better. This passion over time became my WHY, especially when I began working at a community college where I found my true professional calling. Working at BCTC affords me the opportunity to reach out to students and lift them up. Compared to a traditional four-year college, we provide so many opportunities for students. Even if students want to get a four-year credential, starting with us helps them save money and get a boost on their academic journey. I am so thankful for the caring, creative, and student-centered team at our college. At BCTC, we are much more than buildings and programs: we're a community where our students truly find confidence, collaboration, compassion, and success.

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. We're running low on student why stories, and I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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April 7, 2022

Dear Students,

It's hard to believe that we are just one month away from graduation. If you haven't made your plans already, be sure to put 10 a.m. May 7, 2022, on your calendar. For the first time in two years, we will see some of you walk across the stage at our commencement ceremony at the EKU Alumni Coliseum. I can tell you our faculty and staff are very excited!

This month is Community College Month. You'll notice our social media is celebrating it by celebrating you and our faculty and staff. Watch for these stories, and like and share them on your social media platforms. We're #BCTCProud of the work we all do here. I also encourage you to add the #CCMonth2022 hashtag to posts and use the attached image as your social media profile image this month.

Don't miss Keeneland's College Scholarship Day (new window) Friday, April 8. Join our BCTC folks on The Hill at Keeneland's College Zone for music, snacks, prizes, and the chance to win a scholarship for fall 2022.

On the Table is a city-wide conversation that helps us get to know each other better and discuss what is and isn't working in Lexington. From April 10th to the 16th, thousands of residents across Lexington will gather in homes, businesses, libraries, and parks to discuss the present and future of our city. BCTC is hosting public tables for community members April 13, on the Newtown Campus in the Classroom Building room 123, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tables start on the hour, every hour! Refreshments will be provided, and everyone is welcome to join. Learn more about participating here (new window).

Have you registered for the fall semester? Open registration is going on now, and we're excited about our campaign to help you get enrolled for fall classes! Students who enroll or sign up for an advising appointment will receive BCTC swag and be eligible to win a laptop computer, a weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, a $100 gift card, and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. Many of you have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. Make an appointment with your advisor today. Our bookstore winner for week five is Whitney Danielle Brown. Congratulations!

This week's employee why story is from Melissa Terry, director of Admissions.

Melissa Terry"For 17 years I have been working in the Office of Admissions. I started here as a recruiter and went all over the state talking to students about the importance of college and finding the right fit. I had no idea at that time that BCTC would be my forever fit as an employer. I couldn't be more appreciative and proud of the work we have done here and the lives we have changed. One of my greatest joys has been seeing our students graduate from our selective admissions programs. So many of them have shared their stories with me over the years about how a degree in their chosen field dramatically impacted their families' quality of life. I am thankful I get to be a part of their journey and their pathway to success."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. We're running low on student why stories, and I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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March 31, 2022

We are well on the way to the end of our spring semester. This a great time of the year, filled with opportunities for fun events.

One of those events is happening today. I hope you'll stop by for the International Transgender Day of Visibility event, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in room 304 of the Classroom Building on the Newtown Campus. Enjoy games, food, and prizes.

Friday, April 1, is Keeneland's College Scholarship Day (new window). Join our BCTC folks on The Hill at Keeneland's College Zone for music, snacks, prizes, and the chance to win a scholarship for fall 2022.

Next week, transfer students need to make plans to attend the Spring Transfer Fair where you can meet representatives from 30 four-year schools to learn the transfer process and scholarships for transfer students. On April 5, public schools will be in the lobby of the Classroom Building on Newtown Campus 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Private schools will be there 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on April 6.

Have you registered for the fall semester? Open registration is going on now, and we're excited about our campaign to help you get enrolled for fall classes! Students who enroll or sign up for an advising appointment will receive BCTC swag and be eligible to win a laptop computer, weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, $100 gift card and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. Many of you have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. Make an appointment with your advisor today. Our bookstore winner for week four is Macey Montgomery. Congratulations!

As we count our many blessings this spring, I hope you will join me in taking time to remember those who are still struggling in West Kentucky. Although it has been a few months since tornados ripped through that part of the state, many are still trying to rebuild their lives. We have the opportunity to help one of our own, a KCTCS student from Dawson's Creek who lost everything. We'd like to help her recover some of what she lost. Learn more of Jaiden's story here (new window). Please consider this opportunity to pay it forward by going to our online giving link and choosing "West KY Tornado Relief" on the donation dropdown.

This week's employee Why story is from Kacy Midkiff, Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Program (CTP) coordinator.

Kacy Midkiff"I want to help students realize and reach their dreams. It doesn't matter where you come from, what your background is, or the obstacles in your way- if you keep pushing, you will get there! It is my honor to be a part in each of my student's stories and I am so thrilled to see them create the life they want."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. We're running low on student why stories, and I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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March 24, 2022

Welcome back! I hope you had a restful spring break. 

You have all the resources you need to finish the semester strong.

Please remember to check your midterm grades, seek the help you need. The Hub on our Newtown Campus offers many services to help you be successful this semester including tutoring, peer mentors, and academic and personal counseling. 

Have you registered for the fall semester? Open registration is going on now, and we're excited about our campaign to help you get enrolled for fall classes. Students who enroll or sign up for an advising appointment will receive BCTC swag and be eligible to win a laptop computer, weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, $100 gift card and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. 

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. And did you know that students who register 2-4 months before a term begins are 76 - 80.5% likely to earn successful grades? Make an appointment with your advisor today!

Our bookstore winners for weeks one through three are Bailey Donaldson, Shelby Shuplinkov, Earlene Hall. Congratulations!

Tomorrow, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., is the student leadership retreat, Breaking Barriers to Build Connections. It's not too late to sign up. You can learn more about the retreat and sign up here. I hope to see you there.

Jennifer Pevley

"Since I was a little girl, I have had a passion for numbers and a strong desire to help others. Math education allows me to incorporate both of these things in a career that I love. When I completed my dissertation at the end of my master's program, I was asked why I wanted to become a teacher. My response was simple: When I die, I want to know that I had a positive impact on the world, and what better way to do this than to teach. Math is tough for a lot of students, but I want to show students that it is possible for everyone to be successful in math. Math shouldn't be a barrier to achieving a degree and bettering yourself and your family. BCTC's small classes and focus on teaching allow me to do just that."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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March 10, 2022

Dear Students,

Congratulations! You made it to midpoint of the semester. I applaud you for your hard work and determination.

Our new year has begun with challenges that are stressful to all. From the surge of the new COVID-19 variant and harsh weather that delayed full return to campus, to midterms, to the conflict in Ukraine, we're all feeling some stress. With that in mind, I want to share with you an opportunity to attend a virtual workshop with Deborah Gilboa, MD (Dr. G), family doctor, mother of four, and national resilience expert.

Sign up for From Stressed to Resilient on March 15, 7:30-8:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by GEAR UP Kentucky, Council on Postsecondary Education, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, and Partners for Education.

Next week is spring break. I hope you take advantage of this time to rest and recharge. However, if you are on campus next week, I invite you to attend BCTC's Addicts & Allies for Education remembrance gathering to honor loved ones who are fighting or have fought addiction. The event will take place on March 18, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can learn more about the event and sign up here.

Another great opportunity awaits you when you return from spring break. The student leadership retreat, Breaking Barriers to Build Connections, will take place on March 25, 10 a.m. -4 p.m., and it's not too late to sign up. You can learn more about the retreat and sign up here.

This week's employee Why story is from Jordan Taylor who is our student engagement coordinator.

Jordan Taylor"I was the first person in my family to graduate high school and didn't think about going to college until joining the work force and working jobs I hated for about six years. At this point, I didn't have many options so I enrolled at BCTC as a student in pursuit of an enjoyable career. As a student at BCTC I came to love the faculty and staff here because of how much they care for the success of the students, not only as students, but also in becoming the best versions of themselves. After graduating from BCTC, I went on to graduate from EKU, and soon learned of a job opening that would allow me to engage students and administrate sports here at BCTC. Simply put, it was time to come home and pass forward the enrichment BCTC has given me."

I hope you enjoy your spring break! I'll see you back on campus in a week.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.

President/CEO

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March 3, 2022

Dear Students,

March brings daylight savings time, spring, and Women's History month. When speaking about the impact of women, former First Lady Michelle Obama said, "Don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own." In March, we celebrate women whose courage, hope, and brilliance changed history and our world.

You can participate in this celebration at BCTC on March 8, 6-7:30 p.m. by joining BCTC Gender Studies virtual International Woman's Day event. On March 23, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., join Exploring Womanhood: A Panel Discussion with BCTC Women about Lived Experiences sponsored by BCTC Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In addition, I hope this month you will thank the women in your life who helped make you who you are.

Are you thinking about adding an 8-week spring term class? Have you enrolled for summer and/or fall classes? The Den will be open this Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m. where folks can help you enroll for the 8-week term that starts Monday, or summer and fall classes.

Also, if you enroll for fall semester March 1 – May 6, you will be entered to win one of five laptops or iPads, prizes from Barnes & Noble in the BCTC bookstore, a $100 Amazon gift card, or 15 hours of tuition for fall 2022. In addition, every student who signs up for an advising appointment will get BCTC swag.

This week, KCTCS president Dr. Czarapata announced masks are optional on all BCTC campuses. While this is a welcome relief to some, others may continue to wear masks. Let's please be respectful of all as we continue to follow our Healthy at BCTC protocols.

Finally, we're approaching midterms for most students. I want to remind you to stay in touch with your instructor and seek help if you need it. We are here for you!

This week's employee Why story is from John Christiansen who teaches Air Conditioning Technology.

John Christiansen"When I was growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After trying a 4-year institution my parents (who were both teachers) said ‘go take Air Conditioning at the Technical College.' I had no past experience in any technical other than 8th grade shop class. I followed their advice and completed the Air Conditioning program, then started my career. Some years later my former instructor contacted me about an open teaching position and that began my second career. I have dedicated my life since 1999 to assisting students find meaning, success and fulfillment in life. I strive to make every student's life better than when they walked in my door. I gain satisfaction in their success and achievement."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 24, 2022

Dear Students,

Next week marks a very strange intersection of our spring, summer and fall terms. The last spring term begins March 7, with 8-week classes. If you are settled with your spring classes, I encourage you to meet with your advisor and register for summer and/or fall classes. Beginning March 1, you may enroll for any of these terms.

Once again this semester, we are pleased to offer enrollment incentives to encourage you to sign up for classes early. Students who enroll for fall semester March 1 – May 13, will be entered to win one of five laptops or iPads, prizes from Barnes & Noble in the BCTC bookstore, a $100 Amazon gift card, and 15 hours of tuition for fall 2022. In addition, if sign up for an advising appointment in the next two months, you will get BCTC Swag. Get the classes you want, the instructors you, the BCTC swag you want AND be entered to win prizes!

I'm pleased to report our COVID numbers continue to decrease. Thank you for following our Healthy at BCTC protocols.

Tomorrow is our second annual LGBTQIA+ conference, Building Bridges and Creating a LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Community. Check out the link and see what we have planned for this year's virtual conference.

I hope you will join our student groups, faculty, and staff as we continue to learn more about each other and the richness each experience brings to our college community. I encourage our BCTC family to celebrate the value of diversity on our campuses and in our communities. We welcome all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

At BCTC, we accept all, learn from all, serve all, and promote belonging of all. Our campuses are a place where it is safe to be yourself. Check out our website if you are interested in learning more about LGBTQIA+ services at BCTC.

If you haven't signed up for the virtual conference, you may do so here. I hope to see you online.

This week's employee Why story is from Claire Taul who tutors students.

Claire Taul with her wife, fellow BCTC employee Megan Taul"I began my journey with BCTC working as an embedded tutor last semester. It gave me an outlet to use my education to help students succeed. Then, I started getting to know these students. I listened to them explain why they chose BCTC, and they led me down a new path. I am now pursuing a Computer Maintenance Technician certification with BCTC. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to pursue my dreams while helping others realize their potential as well. I feel as though I am living one of BCTCs mottos: Your Success is Our Success. Now, I truly believe that I can find my better life with BCTC."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 17, 2022

Dear Students,

I hope your spring semester is going well. We are glad to have more of you back on campus. I've heard from many of you that you're happy to be back as well.

I'm pleased to report our COVID numbers continue to decrease. Thank you for following our Healthy at BCTC protocols. These are clearly helping us minimize opportunities to spread the virus and keep us healthy on campus.

Now is the time to apply for BCTC scholarships for the 2022-23 school year. If you have not looked at our scholarship opportunities, I suggest you do so. We work hard to raise scholarship dollars for you. When our leadership team is raising funds in the community, it is your stories that make the most compelling reasons to give to BCTC. I hope you will help us by submitting your WHY story below.

Did you know BCTC has a thriving community of students who are veterans? You may be in class with a veteran or be one yourself. We are thankful for our veterans' service and grateful for all they add to our classrooms and college.

To help build and support this community, current or prospective students can join Arnetta Wade, coordinator of Veteran Services, every Monday on Teams at 11a.m.–12p.m.  to meet other veterans, ask questions, and get general VA updates. If you know someone who could benefit from this weekly chat, please share this link.

This week's employee Why story is from Nathan Smith who works in the Student Success Hub.

Image of Nathan Smith"I started working at BCTC as an intern during graduate school with little idea of what I was going to do once I finished my master's degree. That was 13 years ago, and I'm still here, though my job has changed several times over the years. At BCTC I've spent my time trying to help students succeed and giving them a support system that I never had when I was working on my undergraduate degree. Getting to know and support BCTC's students has been very rewarding and an amazing experience for me. When I started at BCTC, I didn't know what I'd end up doing, but now I couldn't really imagine doing anything else than working with students to help them reach their goals."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees, but I haven't gotten many new ones this semester. I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 10, 2022

Dear Students,

Do my eyes deceive me? Sunshine and no snow forecast for the weekend! Perhaps spring is coming after all.

I'm so excited to welcome our new 12-week and 16-week students, many of whom have been taking classes remotely, to campus. I'd glad sunshine greeted you! Thank you for your patience with us as we followed the data to keep our college community healthy.

Things are looking brighter on the COVID front. Cases involving our BCTC community continue to drop, as do state numbers. I still encourage you to wear your mask, social distance, stay home if you are not feeling well, and notify our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher.McCarty@kctcs.edu if you test positive. I also encourage you to get the vaccine or booster. Taking these extra precautions will help us minimize opportunities to spread the virus and keep us healthy on campus.

Do you know about BCTC's WERK program that focuses on assisting homeless students? This program offers short-term certificates leading to high-demand and secure-income jobs and services to help students succeed from the classroom to employment. Could you use this assistance? Do you know a homeless person who could? Contact Gayle.Bartilow@kctcs.edu or Hannah.Luttrell@kctcs.edu. At BCTC, we care about our students and their success.

This week's employee Why story is from Dr. Greg Feeney.

Image of Dr. Greg FeeneyMy Why has changed over my 28 years in education. At first, it focused on the empowering aspect of my field of study, communication. Communication is key to both personal and professional success. While the field is as critical as ever, my Why quickly expanded to the challenge of inequity in education. At the heart of the community college mission is meeting students where they are at and supporting their journey to success. If only it was as easy as writing those words. However, it's an ongoing challenge that requires constant focus and flexibility to address the ever-changing needs of our students. It is a joy to serve in an office that works to not only break down barriers but also accelerate a student's journey to success.

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees, but I haven't gotten many new ones this semester. I'd really like to hear from you. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 3, 2022

Dear Students,

It looks like we are entering the third severe winter weather event in less than 30 days. The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday, so this may not be the end of it. What a start to 2022!

Despite these challenges, and omicron making it necessary to go online for three weeks, you are still here and working toward a successful semester, or for some of you, graduation.

I have heard from many of you about returning to class, so I'm pleased to announce today that you will return to campus for your classes on Monday, February 7. The data is showing us that COVID cases on campus and in our state are decreasing, which indicates it is safer for us to have more folks on campus.

Knowing the pandemic will continue to present challenges, I encourage you to be mindful of our protocols while on campus. Wear your mask, social distance, stay home if you are not feeling well, and notify our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher.McCarty@kctcs.edu if you test positive. I also encourage you to get the vaccine or booster. Taking these extra precautions will help us minimize opportunities to spread the virus and keep us healthy on campus.  Thank you for doing your part.

February is Black History Month, and you'll see various events around our campuses. If you're interested in transferring to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), you can join the virtual HBCU Transfer Fair on February 11. One event you definitely won't want to miss is Taste of Soul on February 23, 11a.m – 1p.m., in the Classroom Building lobby. I hope to see you there.

This week's staff Why story is from Dr. Erin Tipton.

Image of Erin Tipton"My Why has evolved. As a teenager, I witnessed my father going back to college as an adult learner while working full-time to provide for our family. My father began his career as a Machinist Apprentice and after successful completion of his apprenticeship, he continued to be invested in by his employer over his 40-year career. My Why was further influenced in my first job where I staffed positions for a large employer in our area. There was a disconnect - so many open, high-wage positions, requiring short-term credentials – and so many individuals without the required technical education. I knew I wanted to empower people to attain education to secure jobs and careers that provided a quality of life like the one my father provided me."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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January 27, 2022


Dear Students,

Omicron has given us a bumpy start to 2022. Most of us know someone, or are that person, who has tested positive for COVID this month. Our state and nation have once again broken records in the pandemic. Based on this information, we will continue to reduce the number of individuals on campus by following these measures.

1. Some in-person classes will remain online for a few weeks. Academic leadership will work with faculty to identify classes that need to return on Monday, January 31, 2022. Instructors will notify students if class will be in-person Monday.

2. The indoor mask mandate will remain in effect.

Please be mindful of our protocols while on campus. Wear your mask, social distance, stay home if you are not feeling well, and notify our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher.McCarty@kctcs.edu if you test positive. I encourage you to get the vaccine or booster. Taking these extra precautions will help us minimize opportunities to spread the virus and keep us Healthy at BCTC.

Thank you for doing your part to keep us healthy on campus.

Do you want to add a class this semester? The 12-week session that begin February 7. Speak with your advisor and they can get you enrolled. If you need additional help, email bl_advising@kctcs.edu.

Have you completed the Starfish Intake Survey? Your information helps advisors, tutors, and other staff better serve you and design programs to help you succeed.  Please take 2-3 minutes to login to your Starfish account in MyPath and complete this survey.  If you need help with this process, please e-mail Chris Ledford at BL-EarlyAlert@kctcs.edu.

In addition to academics, our community is a great place to learn and grow. Even though we are not able to be together, there are numerous virtual opportunities you can take advantage of such as the Common Read Art Exhibition, the LGBTQIA+ virtual conference, and the KIIS Virtual Study Abroad Fair. Find these and other opportunities in The Buzz on MyPath daily. Student events are listed on the home page under the "Events" tab. There's something for everyone!

This week's faculty Why story is from David Sturgill.

Image of David Sturgill"I continue to redevelop my why, but the one thing that has remained constant over the 20 years of working at BCTC is that adult education directly impacts students' lives. Meeting the needs of our diverse student population continues to be a true passion of mine. I have taught hundreds of students over the years and have first-hand experience of education's impact on a person's life. So many students have dramatically changed their lives and moved out of poverty due to increased educational opportunities. I am no longer in the classroom, but I am still directly impacting adult education students by working closely with talented and caring faculty and staff to ensure that programming and courses meet the needs of the students that we serve."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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January 20, 2022

Dear Students,

It seems the weather and omicron pose dueling threats to our spring semester. Despite these challenges, you are attending classes and getting the work done. Thank you for your flexibility. Your determination and commitment to your goals are impressive.

Yesterday, we announced the spring enrollment incentive campaign laptop and 15 credit hours voucher winners. Someone reading this email is a winner! If you didn't see our live announcement yesterday, you can find the winners on the current students page on the website.

Do you need a laptop this semester? I'm pleased to announce we have received 150 new laptops that will be available for loan to our students. A loaner laptop can be requested from the library webpage. Laptops will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you or someone you know needs a laptop this semester follow this link now to request one.

I hope you are looking for the updates provided by our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher McCarty, each Monday. This week, he reported an increase in COVID cases on campus, similar to what we are seeing in our communities. Please be mindful of our protocols while on campus. Wear your mask, social distance, and stay home if you are not feeling well. We learned this week that you can order four free COVID home tests per household from the U.S. Postal Service. You can request your tests at COVID Home Tests | USPS

If you have not gotten the vaccine or need a booster, I encourage you to do so. Taking these extra precautions and reducing the number of people on our campuses will help us minimize opportunities to spread the virus. Thank you for doing your part to keep us healthy on campus.

This week's faculty Why story is from John Story.

image of John Story and friend"My father died in a tractor accident when I was 8 years old, and I grew up in a single parent household with my mom. As a teenager we lived in a dilapidated house that had no running water, little resources, and one habitable room. My mom taught me that we can walk through dark times in our lives and move beyond suffering. That our value is not based on income, materials, position, or social status. That it is in who we already are. There is nothing that can add to the pricelessness we already possess and nothing that can take it away. That we all are capable and have a purpose. That no job is more important or less important than another. I want to share this amazing inheritance I received with those I am privileged to meet."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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January 13, 2022

Dear Students,

While the omicron variant has made the first few days of spring 2022 semester feel like 2021, we can learn from our experiences and build on the success of the previous year. One lesson is we never know what challenges lie ahead, but we will address them together!

I appreciate your flexibility as we navigate this next chapter of the pandemic. As you saw in Mr. McCarty's report, we, like the communities we serve, are seeing and uptick in COVID cases. With the rise in the new variant, I hope you will take precautions as you are out. If you have not gotten the vaccine or need a booster, I encourage you to do so. If you are not feeling well and experiencing virus symptoms, stay home and get tested. If you have questions or a positive test result, please contact to our Healthy at BCTC Officer, Beecher.McCarty@kctcs.edu.

Mr. McCarty and I will continue to keep you informed of any new developments. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our priority. Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep us Healthy at BCTC.

Monday, we will rest from our work as we celebrate the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope you will take time today for our virtual MLK celebration, Reimagining the Dream, 12-1:30 p.m. Please watch the celebration on YouTube.

This week's employee Why story is from Michelle Sjogren.

photo of Michelle Sjogren and friend"What we do matters! Students who have been told or think they are not capable find out they are when their name is on the Dean's List. Single parents find a way to make a Better Life for themselves and their children through education. Kids who come from families that don't value or can't afford education find the resources to get a degree and start their dream career. We welcome all. We educate all. We change the future. When we do our part and they do their part, the student wins! It is my great privilege to work in a job that matters. This is my Why."

I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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PREVIOUS YEARS

December 9, 2021


You've made it! The fall 2021 semester is complete, and we are heading into the holidays.

I want to commend you for your hard work and for helping us stay healthy at BCTC. Despite the challenges you may have faced, you persevered. I hope each of you reached the goals you set for yourselves this semester.

Before you leave campus this year, I want to remind you to register for winter term and/or spring classes. By enrolling, you could win $100 gift card, laptop, or FREE TUITION! Our Countdown to Spring 2022 prize week begins Monday. Each day, we'll be drawing a winner for a $100 Amazon gift card. Make sure you are enrolled. You could be a winner!

This week's bookstore prize winner is Lindsay Garrett.

Our last employee Why story of 2021 is from Corey Mullikin.

Corey Mullikin "I started at BCTC as a dual credit student during my junior year of high school. I chose BCTC because it was affordable, and being homeschooled, I wanted to start in smaller classes. Once I became a full-fledged BCTC student, I became immersed in the community. I was involved in student organizations, became a tutor and study coach, and friends with my professors. Once I transferred away, I knew I hadn't left BCTC for good. When I graduated, I came back and joined the Strategic Communications team to help spread the word of how great of a community BCTC is, and to break the stigma around community colleges."

You may have a great why story from your experience this semester. I hope you will share YOUR why story with me here.

I want to wish you all happy holidays! We look forward to welcoming you back on campus in 2022.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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December 2, 2021

Dear Students,

I hope you had a restful Thanksgiving holiday. We're back this week to complete fall classes and prepare for finals next week. Again, I want to encourage you get the assistance you need to get ready for finals. We are here to help you. I also encourage you to take care of yourselves with plenty of rest and good nutrition so you can perform your best on exams.

If you have not already, stop by our new bookstore on the Newtown Campus. They are excited to begin serving you this week! The bookstore is located in The Den with convenient parking in the back. You may also return rented books from the fall semester here.

Have you registered for winter term or spring classes yet? As many of you know, we have lots of incentives to encourage you do that: chances to win bookstore prizes, gift cards, laptops, and FREE TUITION! You don't want to miss out on these prizes, just ask last week and this week's winners Adam Aldridge and Evan Powell. Our Countdown to Spring Semester prize week begins December 13. Each day a student will win a $100 Amazon gift card. I'm sure that could come in handy for your holiday shopping. Enroll in classes today, so you can be eligible to win.

Despite the news of a new variant, our COVID numbers have decreased. Again, thank you for doing your part to keep us Healthy at BCTC. If you have not gotten the vaccine or need a booster, I encourage you to do so.

Finally, this week's employee why story is from Cathi Smith.

Cathi Smith and her daughter "As a single mother, I registered for classes with my 6-week-old baby asleep in the car seat beside of me at BCTC. I was determined to provide a better life for her as well as myself. I knew some sacrifices would need to be made to achieve my academic goals. I became a Ready to Work participant where I was a student worker in the advising office. The support the faculty and staff provided to me was life changing. I graduated from BCTC with an associates degree in arts and transferred to EKU to pursue a degree in social work. I am now working at BCTC as a Ready to Work coordinator where I am now pursuing a master's degree in social work. The difficult times I encountered helped shape me into the woman and mother I am today!"
I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share your why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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November 18, 2021

Dear Students,

We are nearing the end of our semester and 2021. When you return from the Thanksgiving holiday, make the most of the week before finals. Reach out to your instructors, study hard, and end strong. If we can help, please reach out to someone in the Student Success Hub.

Next Thursday, we will be celebrating with our friends and family. So as we prepare to enjoy this holiday, I want to take a moment to give thanks for each of you. 

For almost two years now, you have stepped up to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Even as you personally struggled, you lent a helping hand to each other. You did everything possible to keep our community safe and healthy. I'm so proud of you and grateful you are a BCTC student!

Next week, please take the time to recall and enjoy all of the concepts represented at the top of this email. Life may not be perfect, but we all have something for which to be thankful. Celebrate that this holiday.

I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Koffi Akakpo

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November 11, 2021

Dear Students,

Happy Veterans Day! We are grateful for those who have dedicated portions or all of their lives to protecting the freedoms we all hold so dearly. Thank you to the many among us who have served our country in the military.

In just two weeks, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day. This semester has just flown by. I'm so happy we have been able to be on campus this fall.

This week we celebrated First Generation college students. I enjoyed seeing many of you on campus getting your First Gen swag. Those of you who fall in this category should be very proud. Often, you must overcome many barriers that some of us did not have to overcome. You decided that a college education is important to you, and you are making it a reality. Well done! You will see below that many of the instructors and staff you work with are also First Gen. When things get tough, or you have questions, turn to them. They are examples that your dream is possible!

Have you registered for winter term or spring classes yet? As many of you know, we have lots of incentives to encourage you do that: free t-shirts, bookstore prizes, gift cards, laptops, and FREE TUITION! Congratulations to this week's bookstore prize winner, Morgan Ruggles. We have five more to go.

Our COVID numbers have very slightly increased, but they are still very low. Thank you for doing your part to keep us Healthy at BCTC. If you still need to get vaccinated, I encourage you to do so. 

Finally, this week's employee story is from Dr. Maria Rutherford.

Dr. Maria Rutherford "My "WHY BCTC?" was "my journey led me to you." I was a first-generation college graduate right out of high school but while in the workforce, I found myself needing to come back to the technical side of the college to be "workforce ready" in Early Childhood Education. So, I choose BCTC. As a new principal of a private school with a child development center, I knew I needed two technical certificates. Those two workforce certificates were offered at BCTC. After completing those two certificates, I had to go on because I love learning and I enjoyed my amazing professors. I secretly wished that I would be a professor at BCTC one day. In 2007, my wish came true. I am a happy professor who loves teaching IECE students!!!! My WHY!!!"
I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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November 4, 2021

Dear Students,

You are entering the homestretch for this semester and will be finished before you know it. Please take the time now to meet with your professors, catch up on assignments, and prepare for your final exams. If you need help, please ask. We are here for you!

We have many resources and folks here at BCTC who want to help you succeed. Check out the FREE resources we offer through the Student Success Hub. Or, you can raise your hand in Starfish and one of our staff will contact you.

Have you registered for winter term or spring classes yet? As many of you know, we have lots of incentives to encourage you do that: free t-shirts, bookstore prizes, gift cards, laptops, and FREE TUITION! Congratulations to this week's bookstore prize winner, Dalton Renaud. We have six more to go.

On Tuesday when you see our faculty and staff wearing the "You Belong" shirts, that's your reminder to contact your advisor and get enrolled. Data shows us that the earlier you enroll, the more successful you'll be.

Our COVID numbers are still looking good. This week zero faculty or staff and only five students reporting positive COVID results. Thank you for doing your part to keep us Healthy at BCTC. If you still need to get vaccinated, I encourage you to do so. 

Finally, this week's employee story is from Adam Blevins.

Adam Blevins "As a first-generation college student coming from a low-income background, I struggled throughout college. Finding a balance between multiple jobs and school seemed impossible at times. Still, I graduated. However, I would not have come close to graduating if not for the kindness and support of other people. I have been fortunate to have mentors, teachers, and family members inspiring me to do more, not only for myself but for those around me. While it seems cliché, the only reason that I am where I am today is because of the selflessness of others. My ‘Why' is because I know how important support can be, especially when you're struggling. I strive to make a difference in the lives of others just as others have made a difference in mine."
I enjoy reading your why stories and sharing them with our employees. Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 28, 2021

Dear Students,

Happy Thursday! It is hard to believe we've come to the end of October already. Fall Festivities are in the air, and we've had special visitors on campus to remind us Halloween is on the way.

Dr. Akakpo with Dr. Talus Have you seen Professor Bones or Dr. Talus around campus?  Dr. Talus stopped by my office the other day. If you see them, take a photo with them, post and tag us @bluegrassctc. You could win a Halloween surprise!
Have you registered for winter term or spring classes yet? As many of you know, we have lots of incentives to encourage you do that: free t-shirts, bookstore prizes, gift cards, laptops, and FREE TUITION! Congratulations to this week's bookstore prize winner, Emma Hamilton. We have seven more to go.
On Tuesday when you see our faculty and staff wearing the "You Belong" shirts, that's your reminder to contact your advisor and get enrolled. Data shows us that the earlier you enroll, the more successful you'll be.

Is transferring to a 4-year college or university in your plans? Would you like to learn more about it? You can check out the Transfer Hub information on our website or come visit us at The Den to talk with a transfer advisor. Even if you have just begun your pathway at BCTC, you should talk to a transfer advisor as soon as possible so they can help you find classes that are on your pathway to a 4-year.

Are you planning to attend our Fall Open House tonight? Have you invited friends and family? We'll be on the Newtown Campus from 5:30-7:30 p.m. You can enroll in classes, eat, and enjoy fun activities for kids. Don't miss out on the fun!

We're pleased to report our COVID numbers continue to go down. Thank you for doing your part to keep us Healthy at BCTC. If you have not gotten vaccinated, I encourage you to do so.

This week, our employee "why" story is from a BCTC tutor Alex Howell:

Alex Howell "My why is because I want to pave the way for future generations to do bigger and better things than my generation. Every time that I talk to students I can see a spark in their eyes, eager to learn the tools they need to build a better world. I guess that it is just my way of giving back to the community. I certainly would have wanted the same when I was in their shoes not too long ago."
Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!
Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 21, 2021

Dear Students,

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful fall weather earlier this week and are taking advantage of the FREE resources we offer to help you be successful this semester. Your midterm grades and Starfish can help you stay on track for successfully completing in December.

Have you registered for winter term or spring classes yet? As many of you know, we have lots of incentives to encourage you do that: free t-shirts, bookstore prizes, gift cards, laptops, and FREE TUITION! Congratulations to our first two bookstore winners, Connie Thompson on 10/4 and Ainoa Alejandra Sumoza on 10/11. We have eight more to go!

On Tuesday when you see our faculty and staff wearing the "You Belong" shirts, that's your reminder to contact your advisor and get enrolled. Data shows us that the earlier you enroll, the more successful you'll be!

Are you thinking about changing your focus area or do you know someone who is not quite sure what they want to study? I want to make sure you are aware of a new resource on our website, the Career Pathways pages. Here, you can learn more about careers and decide on a plan for the pathway that is best you. Programs are grouped together to help you choose your areas of interests and the career pathways that implement them. I hope you'll check it out and share with friends and family.

We'd like to invite you, and your friends and family to our Fall Open House on October 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Newtown Campus. You can enroll in classes, eat, and enjoy fun activities for kids. Don't miss out on the fun!

We're pleased to report our COVID numbers continue to go down. Thank you for doing your part to keep us Healthy at BCTC. If you have not gotten vaccinated, I encourage you to do so.

This week, our employee "why" story is from Dr. Chris Ledford:

Chris Ledford "I once heard that good teachers affect eternity. I believe this profound sentiment and I think it applies to all student support personnel. I know I am where I am because I had good teachers, advisors, and mentors. They believed, cared, and inspired. They impacted my life and helped me to the finish line. Along the way, I chose higher education because I want to carry that impact forward. I knew BCTC was the ideal place to put down roots because employees are encouraged to put students first. My goal is for every data report I write, student success meeting I attend, or class I teach to make a difference for our students. What we do matters. We all have the power to affect eternity. Look no further than me for proof."

Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!
Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 14, 2021

Dear Students,

Welcome, if this is your first week of classes. For most of you, however, you are halfway through the semester. I hope you enjoyed your fall break and your midterms went well. 

Your instructors will be posting your midterm grades and sending you messages in Starfish. Make sure you're checking those grades, your Starfish account, and taking advantage of FREE assistance, like tutoring. We also have personal and academic counseling available to you.

If you haven't already, it's also time to sign up for winter session and/or your spring classes. You can schedule an appointment with your advisor through Starfish. If you need help contacting your advisor, reach out. This year, we want to do more to encourage you to get enrolled in your classes before winter break. We want to reward you for doing so. If you schedule an appointment and register for spring now through December 17, you'll get a free t-shirt and be eligible to win a laptop computer, weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, $100 gift card, and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. Prizes will be awarded January 31.

There are many reasons we'd like for you to register early, but the most important are about your success. Students who enroll now through December have an 80% chance of earning successful grades in their spring courses. This is 10% higher than students who wait until the start of the spring to register. Taking time to register now will help you plan, get organized, and be ready on the first day. What are you waiting for? Register today!

This week's Healthy at BCTC update on Monday showed cases are continuing to go down. Thank you for wearing your masks when indoors on campus, reporting illness and staying home if you feel ill. I encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not. We can turn the corner on this pandemic if we all work together and care for one another.

This week, our employee "why" story is from Courtney Coomes:

Courtney Coomes "I have always been passionate about education. While studying for my undergraduate degrees at UK, I was fortunate enough to work as a student assistant. I saw the impact education has every day in the community, and how it helped students' confidence grow as they learned more and more. I have always wanted to bring my love of education to an institution and watch students learn and grow and have been fortunate enough to join the ranks here at BCTC!."
Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 7, 2021

Dear Students,

We have already come to the midpoint of our fall semester. It's hard to believe next week is fall break. Please remember to check your midterm grades, seek the help you need. The Hub on our Newtown Campus offers many services to help you be successful this semester.

Have you registered for the spring semester? Many students already have. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? Open registration began last week and we're excited about our campaign to help you get enrolled for your spring classes. First, you'll get some swag! Students who enroll or sign up for an advising appointment will receive a t-shirt and be eligible to win a laptop computer, weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, $100 gift card and up to 15 FREE credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. 

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. And, did you know that students who register 2-4 months before a term begins are 76 - 80.5% likely to earn successful grades? Make an appointment with your advisor today!

Do you know someone who may be interested in attending BCTC in January? We are holding a BCTC Fall Open House on October 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Newtown Campus. Invite someone to attend and join you at BCTC this spring.

I know many of you are participating in the BCTC Common Read of Anthony Ray Hinton's book, The Sun Does Shine. We are excited to welcome him to a virtual talk and Q&A on October 19 from 11-12:15 p.m. via Teams. You can find out more about this and other Common Read events this semester on the Common Read webpage. Even if you haven't read the book, check out his story and join us.

As we learned in the Healthy at BCTC update on Monday, our cases on campus continue to go down. Thank you for wearing your masks when indoors on campus, reporting illness and staying home if you feel ill. I also want to encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not. Help me make #HealthyAtBCTC a top priority for all. 

This week, our employee "why" story is from Stephanie Fitch:

Stephanie Fitch "After working on freelance film projects and graduating from Regent University with a MA in Film Post Production, I worked for a number of years in production, but I wanted to return to Kentucky to be close to family and was so pleased to find my place at BCTC. Working with students has brought so much meaning to my day-to-day life. It is so rewarding to see them win awards, find their passion, and go on to thrive in the field of filmmaking. It makes me so proud. Being around these creative minds and watching them realize their ideas is my why.
Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 30, 2021

Dear Students,

As we approach midterms, remember if you need an extra class, we have an 8-week session that begins October 13. Talk to your advisor if you are interested in enrolling for one of these classes.

It is also time to enroll for winter and spring term classes. Open Registration for all students begins tomorrow, Oct. 1. There are so many benefits to enrolling early like the best selection of classes, and your likelihood to be more successful, but this year we wanted to add more incentives for you.

So if you enroll for spring classes prior to Winter Break, you will be eligible to win a laptop computer, weekly prize from the BCTC bookstore, $100 gift card, and up to 15 credit hours of tuition and fees for spring 2022. That's right, I said a tuition FREE semester!

To be eligible for the grand prize or laptops, you must enroll in all BCTC classes. Don't miss the opportunity to win these great prizes. Make an appointment with your advisor today!

Next week, we are officially opening The Den to the public. In The Den, you'll find admissions, financial aid, advising, assessment, and the bursar all under one roof. In December, the brand new BCTC bookstore will be there too. Stop by and check out this beautiful new facility.

As we learned in the Healthy at BCTC update on Monday, our cases on campus are continuing to drop. Thank you for wearing your masks when indoors on campus, reporting illness and staying home if you feel ill. I also want to encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not. If we make #HealthyAtBCTC a top priority for all, we'll be able to continue having our events safely.

This week, our employee "why" story is from Katelynn Ralston:

Katelynn Ralston "I chose to work at BCTC Workforce Solutions. I started two days before the first 2020 COVID lockdown. Here's my why: When I graduated from Transylvania University, I had well over $60,000 in student loan debt. I value my liberal arts education, but I wouldn't wish this debt onto anyone. And, I'm a dedicated lifelong learner. Education is something that doesn't stop after college. Everyone should have access to education, even if it's not by traditional means. Workforce Solutions offers alternative paths to success. Post-college, my focus has always been on creating the conditions for success. And now that I work for BCTC Workforce Solutions, I have the opportunity to share! To inform! To show a different path! To see others succeed!"
Please share YOUR why story with me here. I hope to see you on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 23

Dear Students,

Happy Fall! I can officially say that as of yesterday. This is certainly one of the most beautiful times in Kentucky, and it brings much activity to our campuses.

Open Enrollment for spring classes begins Oct. 1. Next week, we'll announce some fun incentives to encourage you to enroll early for spring classes. Did you know that you'll get the best class selection if you enroll early? Our data shows students who enroll for courses during open enrollment are 17% more likely to get a successful grade. There are many good reasons to enroll now, including winning some great prizes!

Next week, you should see admissions, financial aid, advising, assessment and the bursar ready to offer services at The Den. We can't wait for you to see it! After the bookstore moves in this December and we return from break, we'll start planning The Den dedication and ribbon cutting so we can share this beautiful facility with the community.

Also this month at the Winchester Campus, our Theatre Program will perform Much Ado About Nothing outdoors in the amphitheater on October 7 and 8, and Moonlight Movie Night is back featuring Hocus Pocus on October 15.

As we learned in the Healthy at BCTC update on Monday, our cases on campus went down last week. Thank you for wearing your masks when indoors on campus, reporting illness and staying home if you feel ill. If we make #HealthyAtBCTC a top priority for all, we'll be able to continue having our events safely.

This week's BCTC "why" story is from Laura Hood who serves as your student government president and was recently hired as an administrative assistant at BCTC. 

"Shortly after beginning as a part-time student, both my kids started their college lives. After being a parent & a student, I realized navigating college life can be a challenge. The longer I have been at BCTC the more I have attempted with encouragement from the college. From joining the Presidential Student Ambassador program to running for Student Government President, I have learned an abundance of knowledge & developed into a more confident person. BCTC honored me by hiring me full-time as an administrative assistant. I am finally able to have the life I dreamed of and help staff, faculty & students full time while helping to make a better life for my family. BCTC is like an extended family that I get to help every day."
I hope you will share your why story with me here. I look forward to seeing you all on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 16

Dear Students,

It's been two weeks since I've walked the halls due to my talus fracture. Although I continue to work, I miss seeing you all in person. I'm hoping to be cleared to walk the halls soon.

I'm very excited to announce that The Den will open soon! You may see some activity in that direction beginning Monday, September 20, as Phase 1 of the move begins. During the moving period, admissions, financial aid, the bursar, advising and assessment will continue to serve students in their current locations. After October 4, 2021, all services will be provided in The Den, except the bookstore which will open in December.

Do you want to learn first-hand how government works? Then I encourage you to apply for a BCTC KY Legislative Internship before October 15. Internships are with Kentucky legislators in Frankfort during the legislative session. This is an excellent opportunity to meet Kentucky's leaders, learn more about the legislative process and earn college credits, tuition free, while doing so. Interested? Let Kayla tell you about the program!

As we learned in the Healthy at BCTC update on Monday, there was a slight rise in cases this week. I want to remind you to please wear your mask when indoors on campus, appropriately distance and offer Teams options for meetings with your colleagues. I also encourage everyone who can to get the vaccine. Please stay home if you feel ill, and if you have a COVID condition to report, contact Beecher McCarty at beecher.mccarty@kctcs.edu.

This week's BCTC "why" story is from Deanna Birney who serves you in the Bursar's Office. If you have ever needed help with your tuition bill, Deanna probably helped you. 

My "why" is all thanks to my dad, Murl F. McCord who attended the Leestown campus after his factory job re-located out of the country. While a student he worked nights as a housekeeper, so on Fridays my mom and I would drive up to have dinner with him. I still remember running up to the Cosmetology classroom where I would find him cleaning the floors. After his graduation he was then hired by the regional office (now building B) where he oversaw the shipping and receiving for not only the Leestown campus but also all the area tech centers in central Kentucky. I followed my dad's footsteps in becoming a student and a staff member. BCTC has always been a part of my life and I'm happy to work where it feels like "home."

I hope you will share your why story with me here. I look forward to seeing you all on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 9, 2021

Dear Students,

Football has begun and we've enjoyed a bit of cooler weather this week, so I guess fall is officially here. I hope you're enjoying the outdoors during this beautiful season. 

I also hope you are taking advantage of the opportunities we have here at BCTC to get involved with organizations and activities and get help you may need. The Student Success Hub can help you with all of these things. In addition, if you are interested in picking up another class, or know someone who is, checkout our 12-week session that begins Monday, or the second 8-week session that begins October 13. 

This week marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the tragedy our nation faced. I'm sure there will be opportunities to reflect on the memories of those who lost their lives and the strength and character of our nation that makes us resilient. I hope you will take time to do that. It is this same resilience that empowers us to face the pandemic and push through.

We're still seeing a rise in COVID cases in our state but hoping to reach the curve soon and watch those cases decline. As I told you last week, our Healthy at BCTC officer, Beecher McCarty, is emailing you each Monday, this week Tuesday due to the holiday, with an update on COVID cases on our campuses. BCTC numbers are remaining pretty steady, and I think we can credit that to all of us doing our part to keep us all healthy at BCTC.

Please wear you mask when on campus, appropriately distance, get the vaccine, and to stay home if you feel ill. We're truly all in this together.

This week's BCTC "why" story is from Dr. Iddah Otieno who teaches English and African Studies. 

"I was born and raised in the East African country of Kenya. My American journey began right here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is here that I have raised my children and found my career calling as a professor of English and African Studies and director of Kenya Exchange Program. My ‘Why' is that BCTC has offered me a platform to expose my colleagues and students to other cultures of the world through educational travel, curriculum development, and cultural competency training program. BCTC is the first college within KCTCS to partner with African institutions of higher education. Plans are underway to explore ways of teaching our courses abroad, and I am thrilled to work with our new president to make this happen for our school."

I hope you will share your why story with me here. I look forward to seeing you all on campus soon!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 2, 2021

Dear Students,

Its hard to believe we are already in September. Although the semester has not begun as we hoped due to COVID-19 developments, we have had a good start. Congratulations to our students who won the annual Welcome Week kickball game! Kudos to staff and faculty who played in last weeks heat.

I hope you enjoyed your calls from our faculty and staff this week. Most of you reported you're doing well and you're happy with your instructors and being back on campus. We were able to help over 200 of you who had questions about schedules, Blackboard, financial aid, SAP, speaking to an advisor, etc. If you forgot something when we called or need help now, please contact The Hub. 

It is difficult to watch the positivity rate and hospitalizations in our state rise. I want you to know that our college leadership team and I are carefully watching the developments, speaking to authorities and preparing for whatever the semester may bring. 

We've decided that a weekly update from our Healthy at BCTC officer, Beecher McCarty who is our resident expert on COVID on campus, would be helpful. We are developing a dashboard for you. Please look for his email each Monday for the latest COVID updates.  

Currently, Mr. McCarty is reporting that due to everyone following our Healthy at BCTC protocols (masking, distancing, and reporting illness), we are effectively limiting spread of COVID on our campuses. I want to thank you all for following protocols. This and the vaccine will help us stay safe and healthy on campus. I encourage everyone who can to get the vaccine and stay home if you feel ill.

Before we get to our "why" story, I want to remind you to follow parking signs on campus, especially those for handicapped parking. It is important that we leave those spaces open for those who need them. Not only are you being a good citizen by doing this, but you will also save yourself a hefty fine. If you have questions about parking, please visit our website campus page.

This weeks BCTC "why" story is from staff member Regina Shank, whom many of you may already know.

I am a first-generation BCTC graduate and staff member. My why began as a student. I did not know about grant and scholarship opportunities, as no one had been to college in my family. I began college at 20 years old with a GED, worked full-time and had a young son in the home. I found out with the financial aid provided I could afford college. I did well in classes and was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. I had a wonderful experience and caring instructors. It was difficult managing home, work and school, but I was determined to earn a degree. After graduating, I was hired at BCTC full time. Ive held several roles here at the college and recently started my new job in Disability Support Services. It is my joy serving and get to know students!

I hope you will share your why story with me here. I look forward to seeing you all on campus!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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August 4, 2021

Dear Students,

I met with the other KCTCS presidents today and we decided, effective Friday, August 6, masks will be mandatory inside all BCTC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

Mr. Beecher McCarty, our Healthy at Work Officer, will provide information regarding COVID as he has done all year. If you have questions, concerns or need to report a COVID positive test, you can contact him at Beecher.McCarty@kctcs.edu. As you know, this is a fluid situation, and we will remain flexible.

If you are sick, stay at home. If you have COVID symptoms, please get tested. If you are interested in getting a vaccination, HealthFirst Bluegrass will offer a vaccination clinic on the Newtown Campus August 24 and 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Employees and students are eligible for vaccinations. 

I appreciate your cooperation as we work together as a college and community to slow the spread of COVID.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 29, 2021

Dear Students,

You have almost reached the finish line. Prepare for those finals and finish strong. I know you can do it!

If you have not signed up for fall classes, you can do that any time, or attend the open enrollment event August 2-5 and 9-13 in Danville, Lawrenceburg, Georgetown and Winchester, and in the Classroom Building at the Newtown Campus. If you know someone interested in enrolling for fall classes, please make sure they know about it.

We are hearing from the CDC and our state officials that the Delta variant is making an impact on the counties BCTC serves. We are working closely with officials to determine if any action is needed at this time. As we have done from the beginning, we will keep you informed of any updates for our college.

If you have not gotten your vaccination yet, HealthFirst Bluegrass will offer a vaccination clinic on the Newtown Campus August 24 and 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Students and BCTC employees are eligible for vaccinations. You are not required to be vaccinated, but it is CDC recommended.

In last week's email, I mentioned the Cooper Campus bookstore is now permanently closed. The Leestown bookstore is open to students and the public and will handle books for fall classes. In addition, we'll continue to offer online book order delivery on the Newtown Campus in room 123 of the Classroom Building. If you are interested in ordering books to be picked up at Newtown, you can use the Barnes and Noble link. Orders can be picked beginning the first week of August.

Our new bookstore in The Den on Newtown Campus will open this fall, and we're pleased to welcome Katlyn Nutter, our new BCTC bookstore manager. If you are interested in a job on campus, she's looking for students who may be interested in working in the BCTC bookstores. You can apply here. In addition, she is working with our staff to plan a fun welcome week events for you August 23-27.

As you prepare for your exams, keep in mind this quote by Gever Tully, "Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems."

I wish you much success on your exams next week.

Take time today to show kindness, learn something new, and make a contribution to our world.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 22, 2021

Dear Students,

As we wind down our summer term, I want you to know I'm proud of the work you are doing! After the pandemic, many students decided to take off, but you kept going. Well done! 

If you have not signed up for fall classes, you can do that any time or attend the open enrollment event August 2-5 and 9-13 in Danville, Lawrenceburg, Georgetown and Winchester, and in the Classroom Building at the Newtown Campus. If you know someone interested in enrolling for fall classes, please make sure they know.

As we think about returning this fall, I wanted to give you an update on our construction projects. Our Danville Advanced Manufacturing Center, the renovation in the Science Education Center, the Lawrenceburg Campus fiber backbone replacement project, and the Leestown renovation of B Building for the new Orthotics Program will all open for the fall semester.  The Den, where admissions, financial aid, advising, the bursar and bookstore will be in one location on our Newtown campus, is scheduled to open in mid-September. We are excited to have you on campus this fall to enjoy these new facilities and updates.

We also have changes to our campus bookstores. We're pleased to welcome Katlyn Nutter, our new BCTC bookstore manager. I'll share more about her next week. In preparation for the opening of the new bookstore in The Den at Newtown, the Cooper Campus bookstore is now permanently closed. The Leestown bookstore is open and will handle our fall inventory. 

In addition, we'll continue to offer online book order delivery on the Newtown Campus in room 123 of the Classroom Building. If you are interested in ordering books to be picked up at Newtown, you can use the Barnes and Noble link. Orders can be picked beginning the first week of August.

As we prepare for kicking off our new school year, I want to share a quote by Alain de Botton, "A good half of the art of living is resilience."

Take time today to show kindness, learn something new, and make a contribution to our world.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 15, 2021

Dear Student,

We are at the midpoint of summer and you are nearing the end of the semester. I'm so proud of the work you've done this summer.

I encourage you to finish strong by completing your course work, meeting with your instructors, and taking advantage of our tutoring services. We're here to help you.

Have you enrolled in your fall classes? If not, we're here to help with that too. Access your student account in Starfish from MyPath or contact your advisor.

While you're on MyPath, check out the news stories and announcements selected just for you. You'll find relevant information here throughout the semester.

Are you looking for a job, or preparing to start your new career? BCTC PREP Day is an opportunity for you to practice resume writing, develop a personal brand statement, practice interview skills, and learn to dress for success. Be ready for your next interview. Attend the virtual event July 21, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

I'll end with some good advice from Derek Jeter: "The last thing you want to do is finish playing or doing anything and wish you would have worked harder." 

Take time today to show kindness, learn something new, and make a contribution to our world.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 8, 2021

Dear Student,

As the summer heats up, activity at BCTC is increasing. Last week, we were able to welcome students to the first on-campus orientation this year. We were excited to see a big crowd, even on a rainy day. I'm sure I saw some of you there. We're so excited to see you in person again.

Next week is the Explore BCTC event July 13, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. We'll have a radio remote, pizza and BCTC swag and showcase BCTC programs and services. Please let your family and friends who may be interested know about this event.

This week, the new searchable digital catalog went online yesterday. The link to it is available as a tile in MyPath.

In addition, MyPath v2 is now live! The new and improved site gives a better user experience, and news is served to you based on your interests and classification. Our BCTC announcements, The Buzz, are now on MyPath v2 and updated daily.  

As you can see, we are certainly not participating in the lazy days of summer. Things are hopping at BCTC!

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer." This statement is certainly true for us as we emerge from the pandemic. Enjoy your summer and the new beginnings it brings to us all.

Take time today to show kindness, learn something new, and make a contribution to our world.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 1, 2021

Dear Student,

You may notice additional folks on campus this week as more BCTC staff return to campus. We're excited to be back to serve you! In August, we'll begin our return to "normal," or at least the new normal for which we have all longed.

The new fall semester is almost here, so tell your friends and family about the Explore BCTC event July 13, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity to sign up for fall classes! We'll have a radio remote, pizza and BCTC swag and showcase BCTC programs and services. 

Next week, we'll say goodbye to weekly announcements in our email accounts and welcome The Buzz on MyPath. This new news site will launch July 6, 2021. You will love the format and news available to you daily on MyPath. Stay informed about BCTC opportunities with The Buzz!

Lech Walesa said, "We hold our heads high, despite the price we have paid, because freedom is priceless." I wish you a Happy July 4th, and I hope you enjoy, cookouts, fireworks, and time with friends and family. I also hope you take a moment to express gratitude for the freedom our nation provides.

Take time today to show kindness, learn something new, and make a contribution to our world.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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June 24, 2021

Dear Student,

I hope you are enjoying your summer. We certainly have had some beautiful days this week! And, we have a new holiday on Friday to look forward to as our system observes Juneteenth. Due to the timing of the new federal law making Juneteenth an official holiday, KCTCS was unable to celebrate on the designated date. BCTC will be closed this Friday, June 25, in observance of the holiday.

Have you heard about the enrollment event planned at Newtown? Explore BCTC will take place July 13, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. We'll have a radio remote with 107.9m, The Beat, free pizza and BCTC swag. We will showcase BCTC programs and services provide opportunities to enrollment for the fall semester. If you or someone you know wants to enroll in classes this fall and is interested in attending, you can RSVP here. Please share this information with those who may be interested in this event.

We still have Lextran Class Passes valid through December 31, 2021. Do you need a free bus pass or know someone who does? Apply online. When you complete the online form, you will receive an email telling you how and where to pick up your pass.

As you complete your summer term, you may face challenges that seem overwhelming. I want to encourage you with this statement by Michelle Obama: "You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages."

Please remember we are all in it together, are overcoming together, and will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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June 17, 2021

Dear Student,

As you have probably heard, temperatures are rising but our tuition isn't. This is great news for you and friends and family members who are interested in going to college this fall. BCTC, along with the other KCTCS colleges, continues to have the lowest tuition in the state!

If you know someone who may be interested in learning more about BCTC, we have an event at Newtown July 13 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Explore BCTC will offer a look at BCTC programs and services and encourage enrollment for the fall semester. It would be a great time for prospective students or families to learn more about starting the path to a great career at BCTC.

On July 21, we're offering a virtual career fair, the BCTC PREP Day. If you are looking for a job now or the near future, you will learn skills in resume writing, creating a personal brand elevator speech, interviewing, and dressing for success. Employers will also be on site to speak with potential applicants. Use this registration link to sign up and pass it on to your friends!

Thanks to the generosity of LexTran, our unused Lextran Class Passes for 2020-21 were validated through December 31, 2021. If you or someone you know needs a free bus pass, apply online. You will receive an email telling you how and where to pick up your pass.

Finally, I'm excited to announce the launch of MyPath version 2, July 6, 2021. This newly formatted platform will provide news and SharePoint access for students.

On the updated MyPath page in July, you'll find the Buzz BCTC's new announcement and news platform. This will replace the announcements you are currently receiving weekly in your email.  You are going to love the layout and convenience of the Buzz. News will appear on the right side of the screen and will be updated daily. Another exciting thing about the Buzz is that it personalizes news for your interest based on your classification (student/employee) and team sites you follow and visit.

As you can see, we have a lot going on and a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

LL Cool J says, "Once you achieve one goal, you should be looking forward to building onto the next thing, and not just getting comfortable with what you're doing." We have accomplished much through this pandemic, but there is so much more to achieve. I am proud of all you have done and look forward to seeing what is next.

Please remember we are all in it together, are overcoming together, and will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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June 3, 2021

Dear Students,

Our community is returning to some sense of normalcy with COVID cases declining and vaccinations rising. We are excited to plan for the fall semester that will look a bit more like what we are used to. We'll return to on-campus orientations this month and look forward to welcoming all staff back to campus July 1, and faculty August 1. I know many of you are looking forward to enjoying the collaboration and comradery that happens when we are together.

I see from our enrollment this summer that many of you are here full time. Summer is a great time to catch up or get ahead. I applaud your hard work and determination. You'll have much to share with students arriving or returning this fall.

Speaking of fall, have you enrolled in your classes yet? Our advisors are ready to assist! Go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. If you're not sure how that works, complete this form, and someone will contact you.

Be sure to take advantage of all the resources we offer through The Hub to help you be successful this summer. We are here to serve as you move closer to your goals. It is our great privilege to be part of your pathway.

I hope as you travel this path, you will find others you can help along the way. Albert Einstein said, "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

Please remember we are all in it together, are overcoming together, and will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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May 28, 2021

Dear Students,

How has the summer term been going? I hope you are settled in and classes are going well. This term is over before we know it. I'm sure with the fast pace, you're already ready for the long weekend coming up.

Congratulations to our film and theatre students and faculty! This week we found out they won a Bronze Telly for BCTC Presents Antigone and another Bronze Telly for The Covid Monologues. Telly Awards recognize video and television content that is judged by a group of leading video and television experts including WarnerMedia and NBC News. That's pretty impressive!

Do you think you may want to take additional classes this summer and/or enroll for the fall, or know someone who may? Go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. Our advisors are available and ready to help. Complete this form, and someone will contact you.

If you need to get in touch with a faculty or staff member at the college, I want to point out the new "Directory" link on our homepage. Here, you can find contact information.

As we go into this long weekend, take time to relax and refresh. A Chinese proverb states, "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."

I hope you all enjoy your weekend! Please remember we are all in it together, are overcoming together, and will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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May 20, 2021

Dear Students,

Welcome to BCTC or welcome back for the summer term! You are wise to take advantage of the opportunity to complete classes in a shorter period of time. We're excited to help you move closer to your educational goals. 

I encourage you to ask for help when you need it and to take advantage of all of the resources we have at BCTC. All services are available to you virtually and/or in-person. Please also check out our scholarship opportunities, including the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.

If you or someone you know would like to take additional classes this summer or enroll for the fall, you can go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. If you need help with this process, advisors are available. Complete this form, and someone will contact you.

We got some good news last week that some of the COVID-19 restrictions on our campuses are lifted.

Based on the CDC recommendation, individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear face coverings on our campuses. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a face covering on BCTC campuses until June 11. Entry point check-in stations will continue to operate through the end the month. With these new guidelines, I still encourage you to follow CDC guidelines and be respectful to those around you.

We are making plans for fall based on these new guidelines and are excited to welcome everyone back to campus. As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, all guidance and campus protocols are subject to change based on federal, state, and local direction. If anything changes, we'll let you know.

If you just completed high school or college courses this spring and are back for summer, you may be a little weary. I like what CEO Lakshmi Mittal says: "The torch relay is an excellent embodiment of all that the Olympic Games have come to symbolize - a celebration of the human spirit. Personally, it represents striving to be the best in whatever we do, never giving up despite the odds."

Your educational journey is a relay and the reward is great. I know you will strive for your best every day and reach your goal. Remember, we are here for you. Just let us know how we can help. 

Remember, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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May 19, 2021

Dear BCTC Community, 

Based on the new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation and the Governor's amended executive order, individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear face coverings. 

Therefore, effective today, BCTC will not require face coverings on our campuses for those who are fully vaccinated, except as stated in the Governor's amended order. 

Further guidance:

Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a face covering on BCTC campuses until June 11, 2021, per the Governor's order.

Employees, students and visitors should continue to practice measures that prevent the spread of virus such as handwashing, covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, allowing social distance, and not coming on campus when ill.

Employees and students should follow CDC guidelines and be respectful to those around them.

Online check-ins are no longer required, but entry point check-in stations will continue to operate through the end of May.

As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, all guidance and campus protocols are subject to change based on federal, state and local direction.

Thank you for your diligence in following the guidance provided. Your efforts are helping us turn the corner on this challenging time.

Sincerely,
Dr. Koffi Akakpo

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May 13, 2021

Dear Student,

You have done it! 2020-21 is complete. I want to, once again, tell you how impressed I am with your tenacity and determination to reach your goals. Whether you are graduating or completing your first semester, you have met and overcome challenges to get to this day. I'm so proud of you!

We had an awesome celebration this past weekend as we honored our graduates. I hope you will check out the video and photos from our 2021 Drive-thru Graduation Celebration.

I also want to invite you to watch our 2021 virtual graduation ceremony. It was made available yesterday, but if you haven't seen it, I hope you will watch it. We are #BCTCProud of all of our graduates.

Graduates, I wish you much success in your future endeavors, whether that be moving on to a 4-year institution or beginning your career. Please remember we are always here to support you and we'd love for you to tell your story on our website.

Continuing students, I hope you are joining us for one of our summer sessions. If you have not registered yet, it's not too late. Contact your advisor or complete this form today. If you are taking a semester off, enjoy your summer, and we look forward to seeing you back this fall.

I'll close with these words by Roy T. Bennett: "Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end."

This has been a challenging year, but we were all in this together, are overcoming together, and will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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May 6, 2021

Dear Student,

It was great to see so many of you this week when I visited the campuses. I hope your exams are going well and will end with much success. I look forward to having more of us on campus this summer and fall. 

If you haven't signed up for summer or fall classes, it's not too late. Contact your advisor or complete this form today. We're here to help!

Graduation week is the most exciting week of the year. Our faculty and staff get as excited as our graduates. Whether you are a graduate or not, we hope you will contribute your message to the video that celebrates our 2020-21 academic year and our 2021 graduates by submitting a photo of yourself holding a poster board or white board with one of the following messages:

Thank you __________ (fill in the blank with the person(s) you want to thank)
I'm grateful for __________
I graduated during the pandemic because______

These will be included in the virtual graduation ceremony video. You can submit your photo message here by May 7. 

If you are a graduate and have not signed up for your May 7 or 8 drive-thru graduation celebration time and campus, you can do that here.

This is a busy time of year and stress levels can be high. I'd like to close with encouragement to laugh more. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter improves your immune system, relieves physical pain, increases coping ability, and reduces depression and anxiety. The best thing about laughter is all of these positive results spill over to those around you.

Our graduation celebrations this weekend are a great opportunity to enjoy some laughter! I hope to see you there.

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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April 29, 2021

Dear Student,

As we approach Derby Day, we are certainly nearing the homestretch of our 2020-21 academic year, and what a year it has been. I'm so proud of all you have accomplished this year regardless of the challenge you faced.

We all need help from time to time with challenges, so I'm pleased to announce CPE has provided a resource to do that for you. Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is a new platform linked on our counseling page with over 150 brief and effective educational sessions covering over 50 common topics and skills related to mental health, wellness, and substance use issues. You can participate in interactive sessions, mindfulness exercises, and practice tools designed to help you reach your goals. 

I hope you will take a look at this free resource. We will still offer personal counseling through our counseling office. TAO is another resource to help us serve you better. If you have any questions about the platform or its use, contact Anita.Nelums@kctcs.edu.

Don't forget we are encouraging all students to participate in our virtual graduation ceremony, especially graduates, by submitting a photo of themselves holding a poster board or white board with one of the following messages:

Thank you __________ (fill in the blank with the person(s) you want to thank)
I'm grateful for __________
I graduated during the pandemic because_______

You can submit your photo message here. 

Whether you are a graduate or not, I hope you will contribute your message to the video that celebrates our 2020-21 academic year and our 2021 graduates. If you are a graduate and have not signed up for your May 7 or 8 drive-thru graduation celebration time and campus, you can do that here.

Finally, I wish you the best of luck on your exams. I know you have worked hard all semester and will do well! 

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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April 22, 2021

Dear Student,

Happy Earth Day! Not exactly the spring day we usually experience in April, but I'm learning to expect the unexpected when it comes to Kentucky weather, which makes planning a challenge.

Speaking of planning, are you ready for summer and fall 2021? I hope you have enrolled for your classes. If not, contact your advisor today through Starfish. If you need help, complete this form and someone will be in touch. You also want to remember to check your student account for financial aid and billing information. Our Bursar's Office has a reminder of some important deadlines.

I also want to remind you if you are interested in getting a COVID vaccination you can register here. As more and more of us are vaccinated, our campuses and communities become more resistant to COVID-19. I am looking forward to a fresh start with you on campus this fall.

Also coming this fall is the new announcements/news platform. We are excited about the fresh look and feel of this platform for employees and students. It will replace our weekly announcements email. I hope you will participate in the naming survey for our BCTC news and  give some feedback on the weekly announcements.

Finally, I want to encourage you to check out BCTC's virtual Art Exhibitions. You can see artistic representations of the common read, student art projects, and the main student, staff and faculty main art exhibition. I'm so impressed with the talent of our faculty, staff and students!

Thank you to all who bring BCTC art before us because as Neil Gaiman said, "The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." Please take the time to brighten the world today!

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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April 15, 2021

Dear Students,

We are less than a month away from the end of our semester and this is a busy time of year. Whether this is your first semester of college with BCTC or you are graduating next month, I'm sure you have a lot on your plate right now. 

We'll be checking on you in our final spring student care call campaign next week. You'll receive a call from one of our staff or faculty who will offer assistance and encourage you to finish the semester strong. Please do not be shy about asking for help if you need it. 

Are you job hunting soon? If so, you need to sign up for the BCTC PREP Day and Career Fair this Friday, April 16 or next Friday April 23. Learn more about resume writing, interview skills and dressing for success. Students who attend are eligible to win a new laptop. Sign up today!

If you are interested in getting a COVID vaccination, you can register here. Be sure and say hi to our nursing students who are assisting at this site. We are grateful for those who are making it possible for more of us to be on campus this fall.

Don't forget we are encouraging all students to participate in our virtual graduation ceremony, especially graduates, by submit a photo of themselves holding a poster board or white board with one of the following messages:

Thank you __________ (fill in the blank with the person(s) you want to thank)
I'm grateful for __________
I graduated during the pandemic because_______

You can submit your photo message here. Whether you are a graduate or not, I hope you will contribute your message to the video that celebrates our 2020-21 academic year and our 2021 graduates.

Finally, take the next few weeks to wrap up your semester and plan for next year. And remember, we are here to help. 

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away," said Pablo Picasso. As you set and reach your goals, you are finding your gift. Then, you will be ready to give it away.

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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April 8, 2021

Dear Students,

We are less than a month away from the end of our semester and this is a busy time of year. Whether this is your first semester of college with BCTC or you are graduating next month, I'm sure you have a lot on your plate right now. 

We'll be checking on you in our final spring student care call campaign next week. You'll receive a call from one of our staff or faculty who will offer assistance and encourage you to finish the semester strong. Please do not be shy about asking for help if you need it. 

Are you job hunting soon? If so, you need to sign up for the BCTC PREP Day and Career Fair this Friday, April 16 or next Friday April 23. Learn more about resume writing, interview skills and dressing for success. Students who attend are eligible to win a new laptop. Sign up today!

If you are interested in getting a COVID vaccination, you can register here. Be sure and say hi to our nursing students who are assisting at this site. We are grateful for those who are making it possible for more of us to be on campus this fall.

Don't forget we are encouraging all students to participate in our virtual graduation ceremony, especially graduates, by submit a photo of themselves holding a poster board or white board with one of the following messages:

Thank you __________ (fill in the blank with the person(s) you want to thank)
I'm grateful for __________
I graduated during the pandemic because_______

You can submit your photo message here. Whether you are a graduate or not, I hope you will contribute your message to the video that celebrates our 2020-21 academic year and our 2021 graduates.

Finally, take the next few weeks to wrap up your semester and plan for next year. And remember, we are here to help. 

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away," said Pablo Picasso. As you set and reach your goals, you are finding your gift. Then, you will be ready to give it away.

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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April 1, 2021

Dear Student,

I hope your semester is going well. We're looking at just about one month until it is complete. Make sure you are checking your midterm grades and reaching out for any needed tutoring. I don't know about you, but I feel this spring semester is going very quickly! 

We began enrollment for summer and fall at the beginning of this month. We look forward to welcoming more of you back to campus this fall. As vaccinations are available and the positivity rate in our communities drops, we are able to offer additional in-person classes. If you are not yet comfortable coming back or prefer a remote option, those will be available too.

Selecting your classes now is the best option for getting the classes you want. If you need help contacting your advisor, just let us know. We're here to help.

I also encourage you to check your college email frequently. This is the best way for us to communicate with you about your classes, student account, financial aid, student activities and events, and much more. 

As you check your emails, be aware of phishing scams. There has been a significant number of them targeting our college and students. Never give your personal information, open an attachment or click a link if you do not recognize the sender. You can learn more about these scams aimed at college students in this article.

I'd like to close with this quote on encouragement from Leigh Cooper: "Never underestimate the power of encouragement. You have the power to change a moment, perhaps even a life if you only step into the opportunity." I hope you will step into that opportunity today.

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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March 25, 2021

Dear Student,

I am excited that spring is officially here, although it seems to be spring showers today. However, I'm not going to let that dampen my mood. In addition to warmer weather, green grass, blooming flowers, and COVID vaccine, we have many positive things to look forward to at BCTC.

Are you looking for a job sometime soon? You'll want to attend a BCTC PREP Day to prepare for that job search, practice your interview skills in a mock interview, and meet with local employers. These events will take place April 2, 9, and 16. Learn more about the event and register here.

One of the best events of the year is the Student Leadership Retreat. This year's retreat will focus on navigating life in the time of COVID and take place on April 30. It is free for all students. If you register by April16, you'll also get BCTC swag.

In addition, our new buildings on the Newtown and Danville Campuses are coming along well. We are looking forward to opening both this fall. The Den on Newtown Campus includes renovations to the historic Laundry Building and will house services for students, community history gallery and reception area, and an 85-90 seat auditorium.

The Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) on the Danville Campus will expand the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) and the Electrical and Industrial Maintenance programs by doubling annual capacity. It will include a high bay, open-lab concept consistent with workplaces in the manufacturing field, and four additional classrooms. You can see photos of the progress of The Den and Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) here.

Spring also brings midterms. Yes, that IS good. I encourage you to check out the midterm webpage for more information about midterm grades, instructions on how to check your midterm grades and additional resources to help you finish strong. Take a few minutes to check your midterm grades and schedule a follow-up meeting with your instructor and/or advisor. You'll be glad you did.

Also popping up on campus are opportunities to help each other. I hope you have noticed the HEART donation boxes located near our campus libraries. You can find more information about the Heart of BCTC donation needs or dates open to students here. I'd also like to thank our BCTC Construction Technology students for building these attractive boxes for us. 

Yes, we have a lot to be grateful for and to look forward to in the coming months. I think the pandemic has taught us that what Katy Mixon says is true: "If you're not getting it perfect, life is still going to go around. The world still turns. It's going to be OK. Tomorrow is a new day." 

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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March 11, 2021

Dear Student,

Welcome to those who just joined us for the new 8-week session! For the rest of you, congratulations! You are more than halfway through the semester.

As we get closer to the end of the semester, some have been asking about plans for graduation. Although the situation is certainly improving, current restrictions do not allow us to plan for a traditional commencement in May. We are determined to give our graduates the recognition and celebration they deserve. Therefore, we have decided to have another drive-thru grad celebration and virtual graduation ceremony as we did in December. We're very excited to announce our graduation speaker, Nikky Finney, American poet and storyteller. 

If you are a graduate, I can tell you this is an event you don't want to miss! Some said it was better than a traditional graduation. If you have not seen the December graduation video, check it out to have a better idea of what we're planning for May. Graduation celebrations will take place at all of our campuses on the dates and times below. Graduates received an email invitation to participate today.

Friday, May 7 

  • Danville Campus 4-4:30 p.m.
  • Lawrenceburg Campus 5:30-6 p.m.


Saturday, May 8

  • Newtown Campus 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Winchester Campus 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Georgetown Campus 1-1:30 p.m.


If you are not a graduate, we encourage you to join us on our BCTC YouTube channel as we LIVE stream from each campus. Or, you can watch the recorded event later also on YouTube.

Rethinking graduation once again shows we are not yet finished bending to this pandemic. My hope is that later this year we will be able to gather again for forums and graduations. Until then, we remain flexible. As Albert Einstein once said, "The measure of intelligence is the ability to change."

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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March 4, 2021

Dear Students,

Our 8-week session starts Monday, so that means we are halfway through the spring semester. Well done! For those of you who are beginning your spring semester next week, welcome!       

Spring is (almost) here; the vaccine is here; life is good. You can see if you are eligible for the vaccination on this site: vaccine.ky.gov. Speaking of the vaccine, I'm proud to announce that our BCTC nursing students are helping to vaccinate central Kentucky. If you get your vaccine at Kroger Field, they may be serving you. Be sure to thank them for helping us get closer to "normal" again.

As we plan for upcoming opportunities and events, we are going to ask for your input. Currently, we are working on opportunities to experience and share art at BCTC. Please complete this short survey to help us provide the arts related programming  you are interested in.

Tomorrow is BCTC's first LGBTQ+ conference. This is a great opportunity to participate in our inclusive and welcoming college community. The conference is March 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sign up today.

This month we celebrate women who have played a vital role in history. In their honor, I'd like to share a quote by a woman who, like our nursing students, made helping others her life's work. "Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest to you." – Mother Teresa

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 25, 2021

Dear Students,

Did you ever wonder what it was like to live at the North Pole? We may have had a taste of it last week, well minus the subzero temperatures. I hope you have enjoyed the thaw and have power restored. These past 12 months have certainly taught us to adapt to anything.

Last week's weather events caused us to extend several selective admission application deadlines. If you are interested in a selective admissions program or want to learn more about the extended deadlines, you can find that information here.

We have exciting first-time college events coming up that you won't want to miss. Tonight at 7 p.m. is BCTC's first virtual comedy show featuring Joe Deuce and hosted by the Office of African American Retention and Student Engagement & Leadership. Find out how to join the show here. Next week is BCTC's first LGBTQ+ conference. This is a great opportunity to learn something you may not know and ensure our college community is inclusive and welcoming to all. The conference is March 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sign up today. 

I know life has been challenging. You've faced so many obstacles, but you kept going. I commend each one of you and would love for you to tell the story of how you persisted toward your goals. 

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System's (KCTCS) Better Lives video contest gives you the opportunity to do just that and win some great prizes, like a Dell laptop valued at over $1000, a $500 Amazon gift card and the opportunity for your story to be featured in a KCTCS commercial. You can learn more about the contest and how to enter here. I know there are lots of great stories out there that need to be told. I hope you will consider telling your inspirational story.

Reflecting on what we have been through these past 12 months and seeing all of the amazing things you are doing today, I feel so much pride. "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." This quote by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin is about you. You have and continue to rise to every challenge. Well done!

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger.   

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 11, 2021

The weather outside is frightful and the pandemic often keeps us apart, but BCTC virtual activities are designed to keep you connected to the college. We have so many exciting things going on.

Let me share just a few: our Counseling Department is hosting a series of workshops on stress management and mental health. Student Engagement has many virtual events planned, including the Great BCTC Bake-off. We're celebrating Black History Month with virtual events that explore the African immigrant experience through Canvas and Conversation and topics that matter to us all with the Social Justice Speaker's Series. We are also preparing for a virtual student, faculty and staff art exhibition April – July 2021. Are you interested in submitting an art entry? The deadline to submit is March 1.

If you are unaware of these events, please be sure to check out our weekly BCTC Announcements that come to your email every Wednesday, and emails from the Student Engagement Office. Clearly, the pandemic and cold weather can't keep us from staying connected. I encourage you to find a virtual activity to connect with other students, staff and faculty.

Friday is the 12-week payment arrangement deadline. We want to make sure you stay in your classes. If you have a balance, please check out the payment options available. If you have concerns or need help with payment arrangements, please contact the Bursar's Office at  BL-BursarOffice@kctcs.edu or call 859-285-7405. When leaving a message, be sure to include your student ID number and a phone number.

February is financial aid month. This a great time to explore resources that will help you make a financial plan for the fall, including completing the FAFSA and looking into BCTC scholarships. Financial struggle is real for us all. We understand.

I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to spring and all it will bring. Until then, I suggest we follow C.E. Jerningham's advice: "To be happy, you must be your own sunshine."

And as always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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February 4, 2021

Dear Students,

It's February and Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil's wasn't able to give us good news Tuesday. It looks like six more weeks of winter. Oddly enough since the pandemic began, it has felt like every day is Groundhog Day as depicted in the 1993 Bill Murray film. For those of you who were not born in 1993, I've included a link! I'm looking forward to warmer weather and brighter days ahead in 2021. 

One bright spot on the Newtown Campus is The Den. It has been exciting seeing the exterior walls go up, and the interior is taking shape as well. The overall design will incorporate specialty furnishings and well-crafted technology to provide you a very dynamic experience. We're on schedule to open The Den this fall.

Many of us are waiting to get more information about when the COVID-19 vaccination will be available. There is a new state website, vaccine.ky.gov, and hotline (855-598-2246) that can help us determine if we're eligible to receive a vaccine and find a local vaccination site.

While we wait our turn for the vaccine, please continue to follow the #HealthyAtBCTC protocols. We are doing a great job keeping each other and our campuses safe.

As we navigate the change, and sameness, that the pandemic brings, I'd like to share this quote from Groundhog Day: "Sometimes I wish I had a thousand lifetimes. I don't know, Phil. Maybe it's not a curse. Just depends on how you look at it," said character Rita Hanson. I encourage us all to look for the positive in all situations as Rita advises.

And as always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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January 21, 2021

Dear Students,

I hope you have settled into the spring semester and are finding the assistance you need to set and attain your goals. In our effort to ensure you are, we are engaging in our fourth student call campaign this week and next. 

You will receive a call from a faculty or staff member who wants to personally reach out and see how you are doing. This is an opportunity for you to connect with the help you may need, and our opportunity to get to know you better. I can speak for BCTC faculty and staff when I say, we are here for your success! Please let us help.

This semester let's explore together opportunities to care for one another. Who needs a word of encouragement today? Where can you spend a little more time to help someone in need? What do you have that you could share with someone who has little? What do you need to understand that will make you a better neighbor, friend, or family member?

I'm inspired by the words of Margaret Wheatly: "There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." We are such a community. I look forward to seeing what we can do.

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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January 14, 2021

Dear Students,

Welcome back to the spring 2021 semester! I hope you had a great break and enjoyed some well-deserved rest and family time. I'm excited to begin a new year and help you move closer to your educational goals. 

I encourage you to ask for help when you need it and to take advantage of all of the resources we have at BCTC. All services are available to you virtually and/or in-person. Please also check out our scholarship opportunities, including the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.

If you or someone you know would like to take additional classes this semester, the 12-week session begins February 8, and the 8-week session begins March 8. You can go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. If you need help with this process, advisors are available. Complete this form, and someone will contact you.

As you know, the COVID-19 state positivity rate is higher than it has ever been, but the good news is the vaccine has arrived in Kentucky. So, in relation to these points, I want to remind you to stay vigilant in your healthy at BCTC practices by following all protocols on campus and protecting yourself when you are off campus. 

Regarding the vaccine, colleges and universities are in the vaccine rollout plan. We are in close contact with local authorities and will keep you up-to-date on when and where vaccines are available to us. And, if you are wondering, you will not be required to get a vaccine to be on campus.

While we continue to process the challenges the pandemic brings, the events in Washington D.C. last week presented another challenge for our nation. If you would like to speak with someone to process your thoughts regarding these events, or other concerns, free counseling is available through the BCTC Counseling department. You can  self-schedule an appointment  or call 859.246.6550. We are also offering workshops this semester that you may want to check out.

We are here for you. Just let us know how we can help.

Baha'U'Llah, the religious leader who promoted peace and unity, reminds us of the value of coming together, "So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." 

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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December 3, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was restful and you came back ready to finish this semester strong. I can't say enough about how proud I am of you all for the amazing work and dedication you have shown this semester. This is truly a #BCTCProud moment for me!

As you know, next week is finals week, and we want to provide any resources and assistance you need to do well. Please make sure you are checking Blackboard for assignments and asking any last-minute questions you need to ask of your instructors. If you need tutoring, take advantage of our tutoring resources.

In addition, the library has exciting new resources available to help you. We have headsets with microphones, graphing calculators, and webcams available for long-term checkout. Just stop by the Newtown or Leestown libraries for assistance.

We also have thousands of films available for you to view through our new streaming film databases. To access, go to the BCTC website library page, scroll down the page and click "Find an Article" on the left-hand side. Scroll down the page to "Film." If you have any questions about these or other library resources, call 859-246-6713 or use our Ask Us link. The libraries on Newtown and Leestown Campuses are open through December 18 and here to help.

Finally, I want to remind you to register for winter session or spring classes by going to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor.

As we close 2020 and this semester together, I'd like to share this great quote by Robin Sharma: "Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic!" Please remember we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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December 10, 2020

Dear Students,

Welcome back to the spring 2021 semester! I hope you had a great break and enjoyed some well-deserved rest and family time. I'm excited to begin a new year and help you move closer to your educational goals. 

I encourage you to ask for help when you need it and to take advantage of all of the resources we have at BCTC. All services are available to you virtually and/or in-person. Please also check out our scholarship opportunities, including the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.

If you or someone you know would like to take additional classes this semester, the 12-week session begins February 8, and the 8-week session begins March 8. You can go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. If you need help with this process, advisors are available. Complete this form, and someone will contact you.

As you know, the COVID-19 state positivity rate is higher than it has ever been, but the good news is the vaccine has arrived in Kentucky. So, in relation to these points, I want to remind you to stay vigilant in your healthy at BCTC practices by following all protocols on campus and protecting yourself when you are off campus. 

Regarding the vaccine, colleges and universities are in the vaccine rollout plan. We are in close contact with local authorities and will keep you up-to-date on when and where vaccines are available to us. And, if you are wondering, you will not be required to get a vaccine to be on campus.

While we continue to process the challenges the pandemic brings, the events in Washington D.C. last week presented another challenge for our nation. If you would like to speak with someone to process your thoughts regarding these events, or other concerns, free counseling is available through the BCTC Counseling department. You can  self-schedule an appointment  or call 859.246.6550. We are also offering workshops this semester that you may want to check out.

We are here for you. Just let us know how we can help.

Baha'U'Llah, the religious leader who promoted peace and unity, reminds us of the value of coming together, "So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." 

As always, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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Dear Students,

You did it! You have made it through the last semester of 2020, and your faculty tell me you have done so triumphantly. I think none will be sad to see 2020 go into the history books.

Before you take off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, be sure you are all set for spring 2021 by checking your student account for any messages regarding financial aid or other important information.

If you have not registered for spring classes, be sure to go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. If you need help with this process, advisors will be available during our Spring into 2021 enrollment event next week. Complete this form, and someone will contact you.

Stay safe and healthy over the winter break. Our staff, faculty and I look forward to welcoming you back in January for a new semester and new year.

I'll leave you with one last quote from 2020 by an unknown author: "The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them."  You have certainly continued on the path you set for yourselves, despite this pandemic. Congratulations!

Please remember we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Happy Holidays!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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November 12, 2020

Dear Students,

We are about a month away from completing the fall semester. It is amazing how quickly the time has passed. As you near the end, I hope you are taking advantage of the resources such as tutoring, peer mentoring or personal counseling that we offer at no charge to help you be successful in your classes. Also, I want to remind you that most classes will go online after the Thanksgiving Break, so make sure you are paying attention to your course syllabus during this time.

Looking toward the next semester, I hope you have registered for your spring classes and the winter session, if you are interested in knocking out a class during the break. You can enroll in classes by going to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor.

Have you participated in the student media preference survey? If not, you can take a quick survey that helps us understand how you prefer to get communication by following this link and entering the password 310920. This is the last week it will be open and the last chance to win some great prizes, like an iPad.

In the past few weeks, we have seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in our state, and it is likely we will continue to see this increase as we move closer to winter. You have all done such a great job following our #HealthyAtBCTC protocols. I want to encourage you to continue diligently following them. Masks, social distancing and good hygiene keep us healthy and safe. Let's all do our part for each other.

Pablo Valle said, "Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help."  And remember, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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November 19, 2020

As we prepare to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to commend you for your work and dedication in 2020. This pandemic has pushed us to places we were not even aware we could go, much less find success in. I'm grateful that you allowed BCTC to serve you through these challenging months.

I want to remind you that most classes will go online after the Thanksgiving Break, so make sure you are paying attention to your course syllabus during this time. As you complete your semester in the next few weeks, please take advantage of the resources such as tutoring, peer mentoring or personal counseling that we offer you at no charge and register for spring classes by going to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor.

Due to the guidelines stated by the Governor yesterday, in Lexington, we will focus most of our student services at the Newtown Campus November 23 through December 18. A few services will be available on the Leestown Campus, including the testing center, library, computer lab, bookstore and cashier. With limited staffing, regional campuses will be open to serve their communities.

In addition to these campus locations, all BCTC services continue to be available remotely to our students and the public through December 18. Thank you for continuing to follow protocols to keep our campuses healthy and safe.

Today, I choose to take Charles Dickins advice: "Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have few." Count your blessings this holiday and remember, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 1, 2020

Dear Students,

The value of diversity in experience and points of view creates awareness, enlightenment, and betterment of the college community. It pushes us all to reach outside our comfort zones. It causes us to learn about something or someone that we previously did not know. It is in these, sometimes uncomfortable places that we develop a richer campus community and world.

Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) supports free expression and exchange of ideas on campus.  We ask that this be done within the policies and procedures that respect diversity and inclusion and uphold campus safety.

To accomplish this purpose, BCTC and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) have established policies and procedures regarding free speech expression. By adhering to these guidelines, we create an environment where we all can thrive.

I'd like for us all to be aware of these policies that guide our behavior on campus.

Student or public demonstrations are encouraged to take place in areas designated for this purpose and are allowed on campus as long as they do not:

Interfere with the normal operations of the college.
Deny access to an office, building, or other college facility.
Threaten physical harm to persons or damage to college facilities.
Disturb the campus or community through disorderly conduct.
If speech or behavior becomes disruptive to the work or learning environment, KCTCS may be able to take corrective actions under its policies.

KCTCS Administrative Policy 3.3.15 Campus Speech Policy
KCTCS Code of Student Conduct: See especially Article II, Student Bill of Rights
KCTCS Administrative Policy 3.3.16 Facilities Management Policy and Guidelines
KCTCS Administrative Policy 3.4 Political Activity
When it comes to posting or wearing messages, or social media communication, unfortunately some offensive, hateful, bigoted, racist, sexist, and other obscene or profane language may not necessarily violate KCTCS policy that must be guided by state/federal law. Thus, in some cases, these messages may not be removed by the college.

However, as we exercise rights provided by the U.S. Constitution, civility, tolerance, openness, and diversity of thought are the BCTC values, and we encourage all to express points of view respectfully and politely.

In addition, public bulletin boards are open forums where any type of message may be posted as long as it is not illegal (no threats to specific persons or groups, nudity or advertisements for illegal activity such as drugs).  Bulletins may not be removed from a public bulletin board simply because of a disagreement with the content. Bulletins may only be posted on designated public bulletin boards.

If fliers are placed on vehicles in the parking lot, security can ask them to stop, and request that they remove any they have already posted. 

BCTC Public Posting Policy
KCTCS Administrative Policy 3.3.12 Sales and Solicitation
KCTCS Administrative Policy 3.3.1 Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy
If you have questions about any of these policies or procedures, please contact Taran McZee, Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is our desire to facilitate an educational environment where you not only learn the information you need to pursue the career of your choice, but where you also are encouraged to explore new ideas and develop skills to respectfully and civilly express those ideas.

Finally, I want to remind you of some important opportunities today, October 1, brings each year.

First, today is the first day you can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the financial aid for which you may qualify for fall 2021. It is best to file as soon as possible. Today you may also apply for BCTC scholarship opportunities. I hope you will pursue one or more of the many scholarship opportunities available to you.

Second, today is the first day of Priority Registration for the winter and spring sessions. We give current students the opportunity to enroll early, so you can have first pick of upcoming classes. In addition, if you are interested in adding another class THIS semester, our 8-week fall session begins October 14. It's not too late to register for those classes. Please go to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor and enroll in the classes that work best for you.

As you can see, today is a great day to begin your education plans for 2021. Enjoy this beautiful fall day!

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 8, 2020

Dear Students,

I'm pleased to report we are halfway through the fall semester marked by our second 8-week term that begins Monday. I continue to hear great things about how you are experiencing success on many levels because you are engaged and committed to your goals. 

To help you stay on course, we're posting midterm grades for this semester. Midterm grades will be posted for all sessions, beginning on October 12. Our midterm information page on the website gives you all of the information you need to check your grades and find resources including tutoring, peer mentoring or personal counseling.  

I encourage you to review your midterm grades, connect with your instructor about your progress in class and seek any assistance you may need. Our faculty and staff are here to help you succeed in and out of the classroom. 

As we look beyond this semester, I know many of you have already begun to plan for the spring. Priority Registration for the winter and spring sessions is going on now through October 31. Enroll early so you can have first pick of upcoming classes by going to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor to find the classes that work best for you. 

In addition, it is now time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which can determine the financial aid for which you may qualify for fall 2021. It is best to file as soon as possible. I also encourage you to apply for BCTC scholarship opportunities.

Moving further into fall also means election season is upon us. I urge you to pursue whatever method you choose to make your voice heard through voting. And, if you have selected a mail-in ballot, we have a drop box on our Leestown Campus for your convenience. Sharon Salzberg said, "Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, and this world." 

Whether it is election season, the pandemic, or just making it through another week, we are all better off when we help each other through the challenges with kindness and understanding.

And as always remember, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 22, 2020

Dear Students,

Well done, those of you who completed midterms last week. I continue to be impressed with your ability to not just survive, but to thrive through this pandemic!

I encourage you to continue to do so by planning for your future. You can enroll in classes for winter session and the spring semester by going to your student account or Starfish to schedule an appointment with your advisor. If you are thinking of transfer, I hope you participated in the Thriving through Transfer virtual transfer fair. If you didn't, it's not too late to participate and speak live with our BCTC transfer staff tomorrow between 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

You don't have to be close to graduation to speak with a transfer advisor. In fact, it is best to do so as soon as possible. They can help you determine the best classes for your future major and plan your transfer steps while still at BCTC.

I continue to witness how you are collaborating with one another. Students faculty and staff are coming together as the strong BCTC community we are. Helping one another is more important than ever. 

Denzel Washington says it very well: "At the end of the day, it's not about what you have, or even what you've accomplished. It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back."

Please continue our #HealthyAtBCTC procedure to protect our college community as we see local cases remain high. And as always remember, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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October 29, 2020

I'm pleased to announce the First Year Center has transitioned to the Student Success Hub where we will assist all students at BCTC, not just first-year students. I hope you will visit The Hub (bluegrass.kctcs.edu/sshub) or call (859) 246-6702. Here, we offer assistance and services, such as tutoring (in-person and online) and peer mentoring, that can enhance your success at BCTC. The Hub staff looks forward to expanding their mission and providing support to you in new and exciting ways.

This week, the Governor discussed new recommendations for our state related to the increase in COVID cases. We want you to know that we are closely monitoring this situation and working with our Healthy at BCTC Officer, local health officials, CPE and KCTCS. If there are any changes in our response, I will communicate this with you immediately. We are committed, first, to your safety as we deliver quality education and outstanding service to you.

As we approach election day next week, I encourage you all, regardless of your candidate, to make your voice heard. One vote may seem insignificant, but history has shown it can make a difference in election outcomes and in the society in which we live.

Someone once said, "If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you." You are in the last stretch of this semester. Take advantage of the faculty and staff who want to help you and visit the Student Success Hub. Show your determination, continue to work hard and finish strong. I know you can do it! 

Finally, please continue to practice our #HealthyAtBCTC protocols to protect yourself and the people around you as we see local cases continue to rise. And as always remember, we are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 17, 2020

Dear Students,

This week, we welcomed more of you to classes and on campus as we started the 12-week term. I'm sure you have found that much has changed since the last class you may have taken, but you're finding your instructors are innovative, flexible and offering support to ensure your success this semester.

I applaud you all for pursuing your dreams, even when your circumstances are not easy. I know some of you are not only working on your own education, but have become educators of your children until they can return to school. Some of you are caring for aging parents, and some of you are working more than one job and attending college. Some of you are using more technology than you even have in our new world of virtual teaching and learning. None of this is easy.

While we learn to deal with the pressures above, we are also facing social unrest and the upcoming election season. Undoubtedly, these are unprecedented times. As we all strive to be the change we want to see in the world, I hope we remember the importance of respecting each other and showing kindness and tolerance.

The value of diversity in experience and points of view creates awareness, enlightenment and betterment. It is truly a significant part of the college education you seek. In fact, Helen Keller said, "The highest result of education is tolerance."  It pushes us all to reach outside our comfort zones. It causes us to learn about something or someone that we previously did not know. It is in these, sometimes uncomfortable, places that we develop a richer campus community and world. This truly gives us all Better Lives.

As we move toward tomorrow and whatever that may bring, I implore you to consider this powerful quote by John F. Kennedy, "Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns oppression or persecution of others." It is our responsibility as a community to create the environment where we can all thrive.    

Remember, we will overcome together and will come out of it stronger. As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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September 24, 2020

Dear Students,

This week, we learned more about the historic case regarding the death of Breonna Taylor. My heart goes out to the entire community. Clearly, the impact of this case extends far beyond this family and Louisville because of the racial and social justice implications. 

Each of us may experience a myriad of emotions and may need time and space to process this moment and all that led up to it. We are here for you. Counseling services are available for students through the BCTC Counseling Center.  If you need support, I encourage you to take advantage of these services.  

In addition, there will be opportunities for discourse provided by our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The first of these opportunities is Race in America Part 2. The virtual forum will take place on October 1, from 12 – 1:30 p.m. 

As we navigate through this difficult time in our community, I know our BCTC family will remember the importance of respecting and supporting one another. Please offer each other flexibility, empathy and compassion.

BCTC holds a deep commitment to our values of diversity, inclusion and equity. We esteem and welcome all people and points of view. Our greatest strength is diversity; it enriches us as individuals and a community. Embracing our differences will unite us in our common mission to provide opportunity to our community, today and in the days to come. 

Laura Jack said, "Together, we are going to create a world with more love, more understanding, and more compassion. When we see beyond the surface and get to know people for their stories, for their unique experiences, and for their distinct gifts, hate becomes impossible and love becomes inevitable."

We are all in this together; we will overcome together, and we will come out stronger. 

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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August 6, 2020

Dear Students,

We have started the countdown to fall 2020 and today marks 11 days until our start. We are so excited to have everyone back in-person or online. I hope you are following our college social media channels to see the countdown tips we're posting every day. We are ready to welcome you!

I want to remind you once again that, for the first week only, the majority of fall classes will be delivered by online/remote instruction. The goal is to give in-person class instructors the opportunity to contact you the first week to explain how the class will work and minimize any confusion. We will send you more specific information on the first week plan as we get closer to August 17. Once again, the in- person move to completely remote/online is for the first week ONLY. After that, the current plan will resume with the hybrid model planned for the semester. 

This week, the Governor launched the #MaskUpKy campaign. You may have noticed that I joined him on social media with posts on my accounts and the college's. I would love to see you share your contribution to #MaskUpKy with a photo of yourself or a group of students (socially distanced of course) on campus sporting masks.  We want the Governor to know we are #HealthyAtBCTC, so use both hashtags in your post.

With that said, I do understand that we may feel a bit of anxiety as we come together again on campus. I want to reassure you that Beecher McCarty, our Healthy at Work officer, the entire administrative team and our faculty and staff have been planning and working hard to make sure you are safe and healthy on campus. We also continue our commitment to keep you informed of any new developments, as we have been doing since March.

Despite having information, we may still feel unsure. When I'm feeling uncertainty, I recall this quote by Dr. Seuss: "Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you've ever imagined."

Success depends on us all. Remember, we will overcome together and will come out of it stronger. As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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August 13, 2020

Dear Students,

It's hard to believe, but the fall semester is here. Classes begin Monday!

As you begin fall 2020 as a freshman or are about to complete your program, I want to remind you that for the first week only, the majority of fall classes will be delivered by online/remote instruction. The goal is to give in-person class instructors the opportunity to contact you the first week to explain how the class will work and minimize any confusion. 

There will be a few classes that will meet in person the first week. Make sure you are checking your college email and Blackboard for information and directions from your instructor. Your instructor will send you more specific information on your class this week. After the first week, we plan on classes resuming in the originally scheduled format.

Welcoming you back to campus and keeping you on campus depends on us all following the #HealthyAtBCTC protocol. This includes wearing required face coverings while on campus, daily health checks, frequent handwashing, sanitizing work areas and staying home when you are not feeling well. I'm counting on each of you to take this very seriously. In addition to your efforts, our faculty and staff are required to submit daily health checks online and have temperatures checked as they enter the building, and Mr. Beecher McCarty and his Healthy at Work team are working hard to keep our environments sanitized with frequent cleaning, electrostatic sprayers and hand sanitizer stations. Success depends on all of us doing our part. Check out this video from Dr. Stack to college students.

If you have any questions about our #HealthyAtBCTC protocol or requirements for your classes, please review the web content we have created to answer these questions, reach out to your instructors, review the Healthy at Work Officer Q&A or reach out to Beecher.McCarty@kctcs.edu.

None of this is comfortable or easy, but you have proven that you have what it takes to move through this pandemic and continue to attain your goals and chase your dreams. I encourage you to take these words by Gregory S. Williams to heart as we begin this semester, "On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin!"

Remember, we will overcome together and will come out of it stronger. As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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August 27, 2020

Dear Students,

This week, many of you are returning to a more familiar BCTC environment with other students on campus and in our classrooms. It has been fun to interact with you on campus, even if it is in our new normal with masks and distancing.

Our faculty and staff are happy to have you on campus too. And, we want to talk to you. So, we have kicked off the Fall 2020 Student Call Campaign to check on you and make sure things are going well. Be on the lookout for one of our colleagues calling soon. We want to know if you need any assistance and help you resolve issues.

Thank you for following all #HealthyAtBCTC protocols including wearing your masks, social distancing, staying away from campus if you are not feeling well and reporting any exposure to the virus. If we each look out for each other, our campuses will remain safe and healthy.

If you have any questions about our #HealthyAtBCTC protocol or requirements for your classes, please review the web content we have created to answer these questions and Healthy at Work Officer Q&A or reach out to your instructors.

As we continue our transparency related to the pandemic, I want to let you know I was notified this week that three of our students tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, I have been working with our Healthy at BCTC team to gather information. I can now report there was limited contact with a few students and employees. 

The health department will complete contact tracing and notify anyone who has potentially been exposed. By following our Healthy at BCTC protocols, risk of exposure was minimized. We would like to thank our students for making us aware of this situation as soon as it came to light. We send wishes for quick recovery. Working together, we will remain #HealthyAtBCTC.

Although we are happy to see each other, returning to campus during this pandemic can be stressful. I encourage you to reach out if you need help. We have counselors here at BCTC who will talk with you and can help you work through stresses that you may be facing. If you need help, please contact our counseling office.

I am so proud of each and every one of you. Your courage, strength and commitment to carry on is heroic. As Bob Riley said, "Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero' within us is revealed."

Remember, we will overcome together and will come out of it stronger. As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 2, 2020

Hello Students,

I hope your summer is going well. We are gradually seeing more of you on campus and are pleased to welcome you to Summer II.

If you are recently enrolled as student for Fall 2020, I encourage you to enter our BCTC Spirit Video Contest. We'd love to hear why you are excited to start at BCTC this fall. The best video entry will win a laptop!

This week we celebrate the USA, despite all of the challenges our country still faces. Let's remember what President Abraham Lincoln once said: "The best way to predict the future is to create it." We all have a role to play tomorrow, for ourselves and our community.

I hope you have a safe and happy July 4th! As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 23, 2020

Dear Students,

Well, we have certainly entered the dog days of summer. I hope you all are staying cool in this hot, hot weather as you complete your summer classes and prepare for fall classes. 

We are excited to welcome you back in August, whether on campus or remotely. If you have not registered for classes and need help, you can contact our advising department here. If you know someone who has not enrolled for fall, we have an enrollment event coming up August 3-6 and 10-13,  9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily at the Newtown Campus in the Classroom Building.

For those of you who have enrolled and registered for classes and would like to have a new laptop this fall, I want to remind you about our BCTC Spirit Video Contest. I encourage you to enter and share why you are excited to start at BCTC in August. The best video entries will win laptops!

In relation to COVID-19, we want to emphasize at this time that there is no testing required to return to campus. However, we will continue to limit entry points into buildings and monitor temperatures upon entry.

The Governor mandated earlier this week that masks are required in public places and he reduced social gatherings to 10 or less. This order does not impact our #HealthyAtBCTC plan. We have strategies in place for social distancing on our campuses and have already asked that all persons on campus, employees, students and visitors, wear masks. Our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher McCarty, his team and I will keep you informed and maintain healthy and safe campuses as we follow all state mandates. 

The CDC health professionals confirm that wearing masks is key to our safe and healthy campuses. Please remember that a mask does not only protect you, but you are protecting others. 

Caring about those around us makes life, even during a pandemic, a little sweeter. Kevin Kruse said, "Life isn't about getting and having, it's about giving and being." Wearing a mask is a small gift of kindness that we each have the ability to give.

Success depends on us all. Remember, we will overcome together and will come out of it stronger. As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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July 30, 2020

Dear Students,

It's hard to believe, but we are only three weeks away from the start of the fall semester. Our faculty and staff are busy getting ready to welcome you back, whether on campus or remotely. 

Speaking of welcoming you back, I wanted to give you an update on the first week of fall semester classes.

For the first week only, the majority of your fall classes will be only online/remote instruction. The goal is to give instructors the opportunity to contact you that first week to explain how in-person instruction will work and clear up any confusion you may have. This will ensure that no one misses the valuable first in-person classroom experience of the semester. We will be sending more specific information on the first week plan for classes as we get closer to August 17. 

At this time of the year, and throughout the fall and spring semesters, it is important for you to check your KCTCS college email, your student account and Blackboard regularly. Your instructors and college staff will communicate important information with you here regarding your classes, advising, financial aid and much more. If you have questions, never hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you. 

In addition, we offer weekly forums on topics that may be of interest to you. The live forum schedule lists the topics we will discuss live and provide you an opportunity to ask questions. These will continue through the semester. We hope you will join us.

Last week, the Governor mandated that masks are required in public places and reduced social gatherings to 10 or less. This week, he added a recommendation to limit travel outside the state. I encourage you to do all of these things, for this is how we take care of ourselves, our families and those around us. It is also the way we keep our community and college safe so we can have more in-person engagement with each other, something that I feel we all want.

As we shift our "normal" and respond in ways that are for the larger good, let's reflect on these words of Elizabeth Edwards, "Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good."

Success depends on us all. Remember, we will overcome together and will come out of it stronger. As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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June 11, 2020

Dear Students,

We are fast approaching the end of Summer I and set to begin Summer II in a couple of weeks. It is hard to believe we are already well into Summer 2020.

In preparation for return to campus this fall, we created the Healthy at BCTC video for you and our college community. You will see the focus is providing for your safety on campus.

As we get closer to the time for students to return to campus, we will provide more details to you. If you have questions about the Healthy at BCTC plan, please email them to Beecher McCarty.

Consider these words from Joshua J. Marine as you make plans for Summer II and Fall 2020, "Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

As always, stay healthy and remember, we are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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June 18, 2020

Hello BCTC Students,

I cannot say enough how proud I am of your courage and determination. The past three months have not been easy for anyone, and you have risen to meet every challenge.

Attached you will find our Welcome Back Plan that describes operations for Summer II and fall.  Kentucky has done a remarkable job of keeping incidents of COVID-19 low, allowing businesses to reopen under specific guidelines. These guidelines, which are reflected in our plan, encourage responsibility for ourselves and for each other. Personal accountability is paramount to the success of our plan and staying on campus this fall. I expect each of us to follow these protocols and guidelines.

Please watch our Healthy at BCTC video, if you have not already, to learn more about what campus will look like when you return.

We will enter Stage 3 of our plan the week of June 29. This means we will still have a limited number of students and employees on campus but will begin to offer a few more in-person services. These services will be offered per state guidelines and social distancing practices. We are still encouraging remote service. However, if you need to meet with one of our student service areas in-person, we highly recommend you make an appointment.

We want to make sure we are meeting your needs as we all return. Please complete this student survey, so we will know how we may serve you better. There are only three short questions, so it will just take a minute.

In addition, I encourage you to join us for the LIVE student forums on the BCTC Facebook channel every Tuesday 3-3:30 p.m. We will answer your questions live and provide great information about this fall. This Tuesday, our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher McCarty will take questions. If you miss the session, no worries! We'll record it and you can view it later that day on Facebook or YouTube. Also, be sure to regularly check your email. I'll be sending updates every Thursday, and others from the college will be sending updates you will want to see.

I'm sure we are all a bit weary from the uncertainty and stress we have experienced in the past months, and we just want "normal" to come back. This reminds me of a famous quote by Vivian Greene: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain." You have all been doing this so well, and this dance continues as we look forward to our Summer II and fall semesters.

As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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June 25, 2020

Hello Students,

Summer has officially begun as we complete Summer I and start Summer II next week. We are also entering Stage 3 of our return to campus plan and I'm happy to see more of you on campus, socially distanced of course.

With return to campus, we have adjustments to make as we follow practices that keep us Healthy at BCTC. If you are coming to campus next week or this fall you will be asked to participate in check-in procedures and wear a mask. You will also see physical barriers in high traffic areas, 6' markers indicating the appropriate social distance, limited use of common areas and shared amenities, and signage posted around campus. This is all to protect and promote your health and safety.

If you have not already read our Welcome Back Plan that describes operations for Summer II and Fall 2020, please do so. In addition, our Healthy at Work Officer, Beecher McCarty, emailed information on contact tracing this week. Please review this information. Our success in welcoming you to campus and keeping you on campus will depend on our attentiveness to this plan.

While we are still promoting remote service, we are offering some services to you on campus and encourage anyone who needs in-person service to make an appointment.

Yesterday, we celebrated some of you who had completed all fall enrollment steps with a drive through pizza and t-shirt giveaway. We will also begin a new student BCTC Spirit Video Contest next week. If you are enrolled, enter to win a laptop!

We have much to celebrate in our response to this pandemic. You are making a great choice by continuing your educational path. Steve Maraboli best expresses this idea: "Life doesn't get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient." Your choices demonstrate your resilience and determination to reach your goals. Well done!

As always, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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May 5, 2020

Dear Students,

As you wrap up this semester by completing your final exams, I encourage you to finish strong and offer you another round of encouragement from your amazing faculty and staff.

Once you ace those exams, I hope you are continuing your educational path this summer and fall. BCTC has flexible learning options, and virtual student support for online and remote classes will be strengthened this summer. We are committed to ensuring you can meet your education goals as we stay safe in relation to COVID-19. If you have not done so, now is a good time to enroll in summer classes.

Our college team is also developing plans to meet social distancing and health requirements for you in class when it is safe to return to BCTC.  Beginning August 17, fall term classes will be offered in a variety of formats.

There will be fully online classes as well as face-to-face classes and some options that are a mixture of both, barring any disruption from pandemic response. Face-to-face classes will have a strong online or remote instruction element, so if in-person classes must move online for a while you will be ready. And, there are a variety of scheduling options, including 16-week, 12-week, and 8-week sessions so you can take classes as they fit your schedule.

If you need help enrolling for summer or fall classes, please contact your advisor.

We are all facing a challenging new real world. You are not alone. BCTC is offering flexible options as we do this together.

Koffi C. Akakpo, Ph.D.
President/CEO

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April 2, 2020

Dear Students,

As we approach the end of another week in our new reality, I am so proud of how, despite your own personal challenges, you are continuing your studies and working toward completion of your courses.

Some of you are doing this as you help your children with their online school work. Some of you are doing this with limited technology and internet access. Some of you are doing this with very little experience with technology. But, you are all doing it. Well done! Please know that we are here for you.

I'm also hearing that you are helping each other through virtual class communication, emails and the KCTCS app chat. I hope you will also encourage your instructors and our college staff who are working so hard for you.

Finally, make sure you are utilizing the resources we have collected for you on our student page, taking breaks, enjoying the outdoors as you practice social distancing, and engaging in our virtual student activities.

Be safe. Take care of yourselves and your families in the upcoming week and remember, you can do this. We will end this semester strong, together.

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April 9, 2020

Congratulations! You have completed another week and there are only 31 days to the end of the semester. I know you are working hard, learning new things and strengthening your skills every day.

Looking beyond spring semester, I have an update for you. The Summer I sessions (4, 6 and 8-week) will be online, and possibly Summer II as well. I hope you will take advantage of your new online learning skills and this time that we are social distancing to get more classes completed.

As we prepare classes and services for the summer semester, we would love to get your input and find out how you're doing. Will you take a moment to answer five questions for us?

If you are a graduate, I'm sure you're wondering about the new date for the graduation ceremony. We are working to make that decision and will let you know soon.  We are anxious to celebrate your success with you.

Finally, I have a special message for you from our faculty and staff who believe, as I do, that you've got this!

Enjoy this short video that we hope it encourages you as you finish strong!

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April 16, 2020

Hello Students,

As I write this email, it occurs to me that it has been almost a month since we all began taking classes and working remotely. Each week brings new challenges and opportunities.

Social distancing, necessitated by the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, forces us to physically separate rather than come together. As we struggle adjusting to our new school/work life, we are also adjusting to less contact with those who are important to us.

However, we can create physical distance while finding new ways to socially connect. I encourage you to do that with your friends, families, instructors and classmates.

Do you know that our admissions department offers daily program showcases? If you or someone you know are interested in programs offered at BCTC, you can join one of these sessions. Just check out social media for the sign-up links every day.

Do you need help signing up for summer or fall classes? Our advisors are here to help. Click here to contact them.

Are you missing your classmates? Our student engagement team runs virtual student activities to help reduce stress.

Thanks to technology, we have many ways we can connect virtually when we can't physically gather. In fact, we've gathered some faculty and staff for you today. Check out their encouraging messages to you!

Do you want to send a message back to our faculty and staff? We can help! Follow the steps below and send your video to megan.taul@kctcs.edu. We'll put these together and send them to our faculty and staff next week, and post them on social media.

Record a short (15 seconds or less) video on a smartphone, webcam, etc.
Film in landscape orientation (turn your phone sideways)
Film in a quiet location that isn't too dark
Email to Megan.Taul@kctcs.edu the file (20MB or less) or a link to One Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive (more than 20MB)
These are all ways we make those very important social connections while staying safe with physical distance. Fred (Mr.) Rogers once said, "The connections we make in the course of a life - maybe that's what heaven is."

Finally, I am overwhelmed and deeply touched by how many of you have reached out to me and my family during this time. Thank you! Please, take care of yourselves and your loved ones. And remember we are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

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April 23, 2020

Let me begin with saying, great job! Every week I see more and more of your determination to not only push through these difficult times, but excel in them. I hope the calls from our faculty and staff are providing the extra encouragement you need.

Some other encouraging news is that the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been approved by the United States Congress. These funds are to assist students with education related expenses resulting from the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.

BCTC is working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and the United States Department of Education on the process for awarding these funds.  As soon as the process has been finalized and the application is available, we will communicate that to you through email, social media, text messages and the website.

As the semester ends, I encourage you to complete the course evaluations you got in your student email. You can respond until May 2. This helps us determine what did and did not work in the courses you are taking, so we can serve you better.

I also want to encourage you to finish strong this semester. We are almost to finals week. If you need any help completing the semester or registering for summer or fall classes, please contact us. I have attached information from our counseling department regarding assistance and virtual workshops they are doing. We are here to help.

Speaking of our great staff and faculty, they have created a new video with encouraging messages this week. Check it out!

Finally, we are not out of the woods yet. We need to keep working together and helping each other. As an African Proverb says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

Remember, we are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

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April 30, 2020

Well, you have done it! Tomorrow will mark the last day of classes for the spring semester. The last mile in your race is your finals next week.

Your outstanding performance reminds me of a quote by John Wooden: "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."  You have certainly proven this true. Each day comes with the opportunity to be the best in your area of strength. If you believe it, you can achieve it.

Regarding when the CARES Act funding will be available to students, unfortunately we don't have an answer yet. There has been much discussion at the federal level about who will qualify and the award criteria. We're waiting on final directions and hoping that will come next week. We will let you know when to apply, as soon as the application is available.

We do, however have big news about our graduation ceremony! I am pleased to announce today we finalized our graduation date. We will hold the 2020 BCTC graduation ceremony December 12 at EKU. You will get details from our graduation committee soon.

However, we will not let May pass without celebrating our graduates. We have some nice surprises planned for you, including banners at Newtown and all of our regional campuses, social media campaigns, and graduates be looking for a fun message from us to you in the mail.

I encourage you to finish this semester strong by preparing for your finals and doing your best! I hope these messages from our faculty and staff will provide the last boost of confidence you need.

Remember, "tough times never last, but tough people do," said Robert Schuller. We are all in this together, will overcome together and will come out of it stronger.

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March 20, 2020 - BCTC Students with UK Housing

Dear Students,

We are aware of the communication you recently received from UK concerning your housing for the remainder of the semester. We understand you have many things to consider and that you may have some questions for us. Therefore, we want to share the following:

In light of the responsibilities associated with your move in the upcoming week, we want you to know our instructors will work with you during this time.

After BCTC online instruction ends April 4, you may want or need to continue online. We will work with you to continue your instruction online and provide details on this process in the coming weeks.

We want to do everything we can to ensure your success this semester. We know these events have been very challenging.

We are here for you. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact our Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Management, Dr. Palisa Williams Rushin at palisa.rushin@kctcs.edu.

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March 22, 2020

Dear Students,

I want to sincerely express my appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for the patience, resilience and cooperation you have displayed during this unprecedented time. I know that you are dealing with a lot more than taking classes right now.

The crisis at hand is like none we have ever experienced. Decisions we have been forced to make have caused difficulties and inconvenience for everyone. However, please know that we take your success and safety seriously.

You may be experiencing an increased level of anxiety associated with COVID-19 and social isolation. In addition, some of you may encounter difficulties navigating a new mode of instruction. Please know that we are very aware of this and doing everything we can to help alleviate this stress.

If you are struggling, we have resources at BCTC to help. First, you can make an appointment with BCTC personal counseling. If you need assistance with Blackboard or online learning, check out our online learning resource page. We also have tutoring services available. The video on this page can help you access online tutoring.

We will continue to update our BCTC COVID-19 webpage with new messages and resources. Please regularly check this page and your college email.

In addition, please take seriously all health precautions and social distancing recommendations to protect yourself and your family. Please use good judgment and do your part to stop community spread. We are working to not only protect the health and well-being of our college community, but also our loved ones. 

I want to assure you that we are in this together. I hold a deep confidence that you and our college community will emerge from this extraordinary challenge stronger and more united than ever.

I believe in you and look forward to seeing you back on campus when all of this is over.

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March 25, 2020

Dear Students,

We were informed this afternoon by Dr. Jay Box, KCTCS President, that all KCTCS colleges will continue online instruction through the end of the semester.

Your instructor will continue to work with you to complete your spring courses online. The faculty, staff and I understand that this may pose challenges for some. We are working together to provide you with resources to complete this semester successfully. You will find an abundance of online resources and information on the COVID-19 student updates page we set up for you. You can get to this from our home page on the COVID-19 Updates link.

On this student resource page, you will find the latest updates from me, a contact list of services you need, online learning tips and tutorials, access to online tutoring service, IT Help, information about wi-fi access on campuses, information about companies who are offering FREE wi-fi to students, free access to eTextbooks, and even virtual student activities set up to keep you connected.

If you are in a course that includes an in-person lab or clinical instruction, your instructor will work with you on how and when that coursework will be completed, based on the health and safety recommendations of Governor Beshear.

In addition, graduation has been postponed until we can all come TOGETHER and celebrate the success of our graduates. As soon as that date is determined, we will share it with you.

BCTC will continue to provide services to our students and the community remotely through April 17, following guidance from the Governor's Office and the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE).

I want you to know that faculty, staff and I are here to assist you in any way we can. We have collected a list of contact information for services you may need on the student page to make finding help easier. We are here for you.

I look forward to getting back on campus and celebrating graduation with you in the days ahead!

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