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ECTC partnerships open doors for EIS students

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By GARY FRENCH

Elizabethtown Independent Schools has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. This partnership has increased opportunities for students and enhanced the development of their college and career readiness skills and abilities. When designing their program of study, students have multiple and varied avenues from which to select through ECTC, and each approach has unique advantages that benefit the students of our district.

SEEK Program: Numerous seniors over the past few years have participated in the SEEK Program (Securing Educational Excellence in Kentucky). This program offers qualifying students an opportunity to pursue one of 11 designated occupational or technical programs. Students attend ECTC during their senior year and fulfill established high school graduation requirements while simultaneously completing college-level technical courses. There is no cost for tuition and books to students.

To qualify, the student must be in good standing at Elizabethtown High School: on track to graduate, no major disciplinary infractions, attendance record of at least 90 percent and a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade-point average. Currently, 14 seniors are enrolled in this program. Eighteen seniors participated last year. Feedback from students has indicated an extremely high degree of satisfaction with the course curriculum, the flexibility of the schedule and the opportunity to independently pursue courses that aren’t offered at the high school.

Dual Enrollment: Taking most of their courses at Elizabethtown High School, but taking one or two courses during the school day at ECTC, students also may dually enroll in EHS and ECTC. Students who opt for this program take courses at ECTC ranging anywhere from general psychology to creative writing to Japanese. Last year, 18 students participated in dual enrollment. This year, 23 students are enrolled.  

Dual Credit: Each school year Elizabethtown High School has approximately 30 students who earn dual credit in college algebra. They take the course at Elizabethtown High School from EHS mathematics teachers who not only meet the state’s requirement for teaching high school math but also meet the college’s requirement for teaching college algebra. The syllabus for the course is prepared and approved by the college, but the course itself is taught at EHS. Students earn college credit for the course but never physically attend the college. EHS looks forward to the possibility of expanding its dual credit program to include English 101 and 102.

Wi-Sci: Forty freshman girls are current participants in this program whose intent is to increase students’ awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) careers outside the medical field. ECTC sponsors four luncheons that include featured speakers who provide a demonstration, hands-on experience and multi-media presentation to stimulate STEM interest. Students from the college serve as table hostesses during the luncheon and speak personally with the girls, sharing their post-secondary STEM experiences and encouraging the girls to enroll in elective high school science offerings such as Project Lead the Way. The luncheons alternate between EHS and ECTC locations.

Sci-Girls: A Saturday science program with transportation provided will be offered in the fall and spring semesters next year for female fourth- and fifth-graders. Minority and underprivileged girls, targetedparticipants for the events, will have an opportunity to meet and interface with female college science students, who will serve as assistants in the classroom during the events. Employees and students from both EIS and ECTC will volunteer their time for the program activities. A collaborative effort between ECTC and EIS was instrumental in securing this grant award.

Elizabethtown Independent Schools truly appreciates and values its partnership with the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. President Dr. Thelma White and her staff work diligently to provide flexible and student-centered learning opportunities that are extremely beneficial for the students of our school community.

Gary French is superintendent of Elizabethtown Independent Schools.