Dr. Jay Box visits BCTC as part of his statewide Out of the Box Listening Tour

BCTC faculty and staff

On the last stop of his Out of the Box statewide listening tour, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) President Jay K. Box visited Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) to introduce himself to the college community and seek input for the KCTCS 2016-22 strategic plan.

"Because our Strategic Plan will be what drives our entire institution for the next six years, it is vitally important that it is designed through a process that includes input from not just the colleges of KCTCS, but also the entire state that we serve," said Box.

Dr. Box, a former community college student, administrator and president, was named the second president of KCTCS on November 19, 2014. As part of his March and April Out of the Box Listening Tour, Dr. Box has gathered feedback on the future of KCTCS colleges and the system as a whole from students, faculty, staff and community partners.

During his visit with the BCTC community, Dr. Box asked attendees to consider the question, What does your community and region need for the college to be by 2022? Faculty and staff mentioned several ideas to promote BCTC by strengthening business partnerships, transfer opportunities and student support services.

Dr. Box also asked BCTC students, both traditional and non-traditional, where they wanted to be in five years, with many answering graduate school. The students, who are currently working toward careers in law enforcement, nursing, dentistry and other industries, gave some interesting ideas on what BCTC needs to do to make sure the public considers BCTC the first place to go for a quality and valuable educational experience.

The continuation of a caring, supportive environment, with the latest technology and flexible programs to finish quicker and get back out into the workforce, were some of the suggestions given by the students, as well as establishing an international student support office to help those who are not from the United States ease into transitioning into BCTC's educational environment.

BCTC student Ebony Nava, who plans on pursuing a degree in Biochemistry and Philosophy after graduating this May with an Advanced Certificate in Biotechnology, said there was a need for peer mentoring. Non-traditional students especially would be good at this as they could help guide younger, less experienced students as they navigate their higher education experience.

Dr. Box listening tour made stops at all 16 KCTCS colleges, allowing him to gather information and engage a broad audience in the strategic planning discussion face-to-face.

For the latest information on updates on the KCTCS strategic planning process visit kctcspresident.com/strategic-planning/.

Photo: Dr. Jay. K. Box addresses staff and faculty during the Out of the Box listening tour at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.