New partnership helps ECTC students when life gets challenging | ECTC

New partnership helps ECTC students when life gets challenging

Published on Nov 17, 2021

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) and Family Scholar House (FSH) on Tuesday announced a partnership that offers direct support to students facing non-academic barriers. Gov. Andy Beshear joined ECTC and FSH leaders and supporters to celebrate the partnership. 

"When students stop out or drop out it is rarely because of the coursework or on-the-job training, but most often because of life,” said FSH President and CEO Cathe Dykstra. “In these situations, Family Scholar House is available to help, providing resources and support and supplementing the efforts of the college."

FSH provides ECTC students, potential students and others in the community holistic services such as assistance with applying for welfare benefits, connecting with food pantries, childcare and transportation, technology assistance, and career and academic coaching. FSH’s services are provided at no cost to students or the college. 

Beshear noted the partnership’s impact on students. 

“My administration will always put education first, and that means supporting innovative partnerships like this one that put students first,” Beshear said. “ECTC and Family Scholar House are already transforming the lives of Kentuckians on their own, but working together they can do even more to support students through graduation and into the new lives they’ve worked so hard to build.”

FSH began working with ECTC students earlier this semester, including Nicole Livingston, who is taking online classes and considered dropping out. FSH helped her get a more reliable computer, sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit and find transportation to get to campus when she needs to connect with support services. 

“It can be very difficult to ask for help or even admit to yourself that you need a hand, but what I have found is that they really care about me and want me to have this chance to get the education I need for a career,” Livingston said. “What I want is for my children to see me succeed and be proud of me. As I stand here today, I am already proud of myself.”

Multiple college initiatives such as The Lunchbox food pantry and the Student Emergency Fund are designed to help students facing non-academic challenges, but more comprehensive services like those provided by FSH are needed, said ECTC President Dr. Juston Pate. In addition, the FSH team, while maintaining student confidentiality, will provide feedback to the college to strengthen student services and academic resources.

“Family Scholar House is the most powerful student support organization I’ve known, and they have already been an incredible asset to our students,” Pate said. “When life gets in the way of their education, our students must have access to caring mentors and real solutions. With the support Family Scholar House can provide, more students are going to complete their programs, start better careers and live better lives.”

The FSH Response Center is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Saturday at 502-289-6384. To learn more about the partnership and services, visit elizabethtown.kctcs.edu/familyscholarhouse

A recording of the partnership announcement is available on ECTC's YouTube channel.