President's Message, July 2022
Published on Jul 29, 2022
July is an exciting time for us at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. It offers the chance to look back on the year that was, and look ahead as we prepare to welcome students back to class Aug. 15.
This last year, we adopted the 8-Week Advantage schedule. Nearly every office and department at ECTC worked together to roll out this new schedule for one reason — student success. And we are very encouraged that early results show students are earning better grades with the eight-week schedule and fewer students are withdrawing from classes. We know students are most likely to withdraw because life gets in the way of their educational goals — not for academic reasons — and 8-Week Advantage is proving to better meet students’ needs.
Our powerful new partnership with Family Scholar House also is helping students when life gets in the way. Family Scholar House provides the wrap-around support the college simply can’t provide on its own. For example, their team has made thousands of calls to our students and prospective students, offering support that students might not ask for on their own.
This year, we also launched the ECTC Foundation, bringing together an incredible board of directors from across the region who will focus on student success, workforce training and innovation at the college.
As the No. 1 workforce training provider in the region, ECTC continues to partner with companies like Nucor in Brandenburg and Kruger Packaging, Metalsa, Altec and Fischbach USA in Elizabethtown to ensure employees have the training they need to succeed. We’re also very excited about work we’ve done hand-in-hand with our BlueOvalSK Battery Park partners to prepare the region for historic economic development in Glendale.
As our region’s advanced manufacturing sector grows, we’ll not only expand our world-class training programs, but we also will be ready to help the next generation realize opportunities in today’s innovative manufacturing fields. The state budget approved in April included $16.5 million for the first phase of the renovation of our 57-year-old Occupational Technical Building. Further, $9 million was appropriated to bring new technical programs to our Leitchfield campus.
Meanwhile, as our community faces the same nursing shortage affecting healthcare nationwide, our nursing program has expanded and implemented new practices for student success. In the 2021-22 academic year, 52 new registered nurses graduated from ECTC — the highest number of graduates in more than a decade and possibly a college record.
Are we slowing down? Not a chance.
As we look ahead, we’ll focus on initiatives that enhance the quality of an ECTC education. We’re launching new programs to help students stay on track and finish what they start. We’re dedicating more resources to scholarships and other assistance to remove barriers to education. We’re investing in our faculty and staff who have devoted their careers to changing students’ lives. And we’ll continue to expand our academic offerings, starting with agriculture’s animal science track that launches next month and the computer information technology program’s Unix/Linux administrator certificate coming in the spring.
Our broader community will note a lot of infrastructure work in the near future. For example, our University Center renovations are coming along and those plans soon will be a reality.
In 2022-23, I’m also looking forward to continuing to work with our Foundation as they further position the college to be the region’s first choice for education as well as a key driver for growth in our community.
As always, we are so grateful to the many supporters and partners who continue to help us achieve our goals, both for our college and our students. They are truly making a difference in students’ lives, and therefore, the life of our community.