A plan makes all the difference | ECTC

A plan makes all the difference

July 20, 2023

Mike Boone with a degree

Some students at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College go the traditional route and get a degree in the years following high school. Others take the long way around.

Mike Boone, 41, is one of those students. He’s a non-traditional student who persevered and completed his Associate in Arts at ECTC in the spring of 2023.

After first enrolling at ECTC in 2000, he chose to delay college and focus on his manufacturing career.

“At first, the money was great and I was able to advance quickly and easily with my communication and speaking skills,” he said. “I was able to learn a lot from the processes in manufacturing, but I realized that it would take many years of experience to match the level of education required to advance past the labor-intensive side of manufacturing. The job market is a lot different today than 20 years ago, and education requirements are more and more critical.”

He spent the next few years taking classes without the help of an advisor, something he doesn’t recommend.

“I was taking classes, but they weren’t benefiting me the way they should because I didn’t really have a plan,” he said.

He eventually stopped taking classes completely.

In 2022 Boone decided to take his college career more seriously and reached out to ECTC for help. With the help of an advisor, he put a plan together to finish his degree in two semesters.

Getting a degree later in life has its challenges, but it’s worth it, Boone said. The biggest challenges are balancing a full-time job, home and school. But with drive and desire you can keep going.

ECTC helps with those challenges by offering online classes and 8-week classes to help finish a class in half the time of a traditional class, he said. 

“This was a lifesaver to me,” he said.

He wanted to finish his degree to no longer check the “some college” box on applications.

“For a long time, I was building experience with no degree,” he said. “I have now completed my degree and have the experience, which will make me better qualified for other positions.”

Boone plans to continue his education at the University of Louisville, pursuing a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and learning.