CADD student earning a degree tuition-free | ECTC

CADD student earning a degree tuition-free

Published on Sep 28, 2021

Brandon Life, a Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) student at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) chose the program because of the experience he gained as a Central Hardin High School student with Project Lead the Way (PLTW). Once he knew what he wanted to do, he just had to figure out the best way to do it, he said.  

“I grew attached to this career field as I went further and further in PLTW, using programs like Autodesk Inventor,” said Life. “ECTC was close and convenient, but the cost of college was a concern for me and my parents.”

When enrolling for his first semester at ECTC in Fall 2020, Life registered for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS) to eliminate that concern.  

“I tried to be proactive in my transition from high school by applying for scholarships. This semester, in addition to WRKS, I'm using the Metallica Scholarship and a local scholarship from my church, College Heights,” said Life. “Paying for classes is a weight I don’t have to worry about carrying on my back so I can focus on my classwork.”

Life also said his instructors have made all the difference in his educational experience at ECTC.  

“My CADD instructors Mr. Doty and Mr. Anderson really do care about their students,” he said. “When I'm working through the material and due dates, they really care about my success and are flexible to what I need as a student and I'm so grateful for them.”

Life said graduating with a quality education and no debt will help him in the long run as he looks toward a career.

“I’ve never had to take out a single student loan and applying for scholarships was an easy process,” said Life. “I’m only paying for books, so I won’t graduate with debt. Looking toward a career in 3D modeling in small applications, I'm thankful that I won’t have to worry about paying off student debt.”

The Metallica Scholars Initiative, funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), has provided schoarship funding for CADD and other advanced manufacturing programs for two years. Through the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, students in high-demand programs can attend ECTC tuition-free. To learn more about these and other ECTC scholarship opportunities, visit