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Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky New Approach to Teaching and Career Readiness

Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky (AOKY) at West Kentucky Community and Technical College is a new approach to preparing students for the future.

Through a partnership between WKCTC, Kentucky Adult Education and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, AOKY combines simultaneous technical training with additional basic education support to provide students the skills they need to succeed in college and compete in the workforce.

AOKY classes at WKCTC are team-taught with an adult education instructor partnering with technical faculty to raise our students knowledge of basic skills such as reading, writing and math, while they are also working toward a certificate or degree.

The program identifies and removes barriers that prevent adults from entering college and completing their education, while also helping them build the skills they need be successful in the job market.

Students are matched with a success coach and a career coach. The success coach helps students with college paperwork, provides support, and develops plans for students to meet their goals, tracks their progress and makes referrals as needed. The career coach conducts a skills assessment, assists with resume writing, job search activities, training services, career counseling, and provides job referrals.

At WKCTC, health science technology and marine technology are AOKY pathways that allow students to earn technical certificates that are stackable toward an associate of applied science degree. Students may choose to go to work after earning a certificate or continue the pathway toward earning additional certificates or a degree.

Through hard work, both on the part of the student and the team of faculty, staff, and community partners associated with AOKY, success is being found for students facing real-life hurdles and roadblocks, said Gwen Taylor, WKCTC Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky project coordinator. Once students experience success, the anxiety or self-doubt they may have felt when first returning to school seems to melt away, and they continue to move forward toward a better future.

For more information about AOKY, contact Gwen Taylor, (270) 534-3127 or gwen.taylor@kctcs.edu.