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Rotary Day Showcases Career Options

Nearly 200 high school students visited the Technology Drive Campus on  November 15 to learn about their choices after graduation.

The annual Rotary Day Program was a collaboration of ACTC and the Ashland Rotary Club, with support from the Russell Rotary Club. Students from technical programs at Boyd County, Paul G. Blazer, Greenup County, Fairview, Lawrence County, Raceland and Russell High Schools were introduced to college programs and services.

“We want students to realize that post-secondary education is necessary these days for them to be able to have the things they want out of life,” said Sharon Pack, pre-nursing and Medicaid Nurse Aide instructor at Lawrence County High School. LCHS also has culinary, engineering, carpentry, business, coal management and agricultural technology programs.

“This visit helps them see what is available and helps them realize that going to college is not that far in the future,” Pack said.  “We’ve always had a good relationship with ACTC, and events like this are very beneficial to students.”

Rotary Day included an overview of the career options available at ACTC and a tour of the campus. Students also had a chance to talk to some of the faculty who teach technical programs.

“We have some of the same programs that ACTC has, and events such as Rotary Day help students can see how easily they can take the next step to college,” said James, Pennington, Technology Education teacher at Paul G. Blazer High School. “We’ve had students graduate and go to ACTC for the welding, electricity, lineman and applied process technology programs.”

All the visiting students were in technical programs, such as welding, culinary, early childhood, health science and drafting, that have counterparts at ACTC. Some were dual credit students, who are taking classes for simultaneous high school and ACTC college credit.

“We have dual credit articulated agreements for college credit, and this is a good opportunity to show the students where they can get the most of out their college credit,” said Keith Parson, Principal of the Russell Area Technology Center (ATC).  Russell ATC, which also serves Fairview and Raceland High School students, has programs in office, information systems, computer aided drafting, welding and electrical technologies

“I went through welding at ATC (an ACTC predecessor) and went onto Morehead State University,” said Wendell Morris, Technology Education teacher at Raceland-Worthington High School.  “We want students to see their career options here – both for technical education and for first two years of a bachelor’s degree.”

This is the 14th year of collaboration on “Access to Careers Week” between Kentucky Rotary Clubs and colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to encourage Kentucky’s youth to continue their education beyond high school.

 “Rotary is proud to be a part of Access to Careers, an event committed to exposing local high school students to the ACTC campus and the many programs that the college offers to prepare our young people  with the necessary skills for entering the work force,” said Lori Cooksey, an Ashland Rotary Club member and past-president.

“Rotary Clubs across the globe provide many ways to support education from academic scholarships for undergraduates, graduates and even international studies to students in the area,” Cooksey said.   “The Ashland Rotary Club also sponsors the Rotaract Club at ACTC, whose members are emerging leaders, ages 18-30, who embody our belief of ‘Service above Self’ and making positive changes in our local communities and around the world.”