First Year Experience | WKCTC

First Year Experience

First Year Experience Courses introduce new students to strategies that promote academic, personal, and professional success in the college environment. Through these courses, students will foster a sense of belonging at WKCTC, engage in the curricular and co-curricular life of the College, and develop academic plans that align with career and life goals.  

West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Chart Your Own Course initiative is embedded in FYE 105 and is designed to help students navigate their college experiences while promoting a culture of credential completion. By aligning academic and student support services with shared practices and resources, students are empowered to take ownership of their academic and career goals.

FYE 105 courses use the following guide to assist students toward credential completion:

During the application and admissions process, students will:

During the first semester, students will:

  • Take FYE 105 and identify a career goal that aligns with individual strengths
  • Chart Your Own Course in FYE 105 by developing an academic plan that aligns with an identified career goal
  • Complete the FAFSA and scholarship application (opens October 1 and March 1)
  • Accumulate 15 credit hours toward graduation

During the second semester, students will:

  • Follow up on the FAFSA in January
  • Meet with an academic advisor and/or visit the Advising Center to discuss transfer
  • Accumulate 30 credit hours toward graduation

During the third semester, students will:

  • Meet with an academic advisor and/or visit the Advising Center to discuss transfer
  • Finalize transfer or career plans
  • Complete the FAFSA and scholarship application (opens October 1 and March 1)
  • Accumulate 45 credit hours toward graduation

During the fourth semester, students will:

  • Academic Plan - complete list of classes required for a particular credential
  • Advising - an important part of your success at WKCTC and a shared responsibility that helps you clarify, plan, and achieve your academic and career goals
  • Student ID# - 9-digit identification number assigned to you for student records
  • Credential - certificate, diploma or associate degree proving your academic qualifications
  • Advisor - key person at WKCTC who you should meet with at least once a semester to answer your questions and help you define your goals
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) - average value of all your class grades and is important for earning scholarships, maintaining financial aid, transfer, and entering a selective admissions program
  • Credit Hour - units that measure the weight of courses toward the completion of a credential
  • Persistence - your ability to progress toward completion of your credential
  • Completion - when you have met all the requirements for your credential
  • Financial Aid - state and federal funding and/or scholarships which helps you pay for your education
  • Student Self-Service - online access to your student account
  • Campus Resources - various offices and/or people at WKCTC designed to support you in your academic pursuits, which includes, but is not limited to,
    • Student Success Center
    • Success Coach
    • Financial Aid
    • Library
    • Accessibility Services
    • Business Office

Frequently Asked Questions

FYE courses are 1- to 3-credit hour, transferrable electives offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters for new students.

In FYE courses, you will:

  • Use campus technology, such as KCTCS email, Blackboard, Student Self-Service, and WKCTC website
  • Learn about campus resources
  • Develop strategies for academic success, such as effective note-taking and studying
  • Enhance self-management skills, such as time management and organization
  • Research career choices related to your strengths and interests
  • Research and understand your transfer options and transfer processes
  • Plan your educational career pathway to graduation


Mindy Bell

Mindy Bell, FYE Program Coordinator
Matheson Learning Resource Center, E2
Phone: (270) 534-3186

Mindy Bell is from Lexington, KY where she dedicated nearly 15 years to the wellness industry, beginning at age 13. In 2014, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Eastern Kentucky University. Mindy also received her Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati in 2018. In 2021, Mindy moved to Paducah and began working in the Student Success Center. Prior to her role as FYE Program Coordinator, she served as an academic success coach. She enjoys spending time with her two dogs, gardening, and reading.


Tanya Neitzke

Tanya Neitzke, Painting and FYE Assistant Professor
Rosenthall Hall, G
Phone: (270) 534-3904

Tanya Neitzke earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the State University of New York Potsdam in 2008 and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Southern Illinois University in 2011. Tanya is currently an assistant professor of painting and FYE. She is also a full-time professional artist who has been featured in various solo, two-person, and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has also been featured on the PBS show, Expressions. Being a creative person, Tanya loves helping people discover things about themselves and the world around them. Outside of work, Tanya enjoys reading, listening to music, studying the mysteries of life, spending time with her family, and going to shows.