The record number of 710 students who received degrees or certificates from Ashland Community and Technical College last week not only is excellent news for the new graduates, but also for this community that continues to have a shortage of residents lacking at least some college education. That one statistic has a tremendous negative impact on efforts to attract industries that offer high-paying jobs with benefits but also require an education beyond high school.
The record number of graduates also is a bit surprising because ACTC and most other community and technical colleges in Kentucky have experienced declining enrollment in recent years. The fact the local two-year college is producing more graduates with fewer students is an indication students with the desire and ability to succeed in college are remaining in school while more marginal students are either dropping out or not enrolling.
Because they offer open enrollment to anyone who graduated from a Kentucky high school, the community and technical students have always attracted students who lacked the skills to succeed in college. Many are simply attending because they can get government money to do so or they have been unable to find a decent job. With remedial education classes and a lot of work and determination, some of these students overcome their deficiencies and become successful students. However, most don’t and leave school with more debt and little to show for it.
The record 710 students who received degrees or certificates are those all colleges most want. They have used their time and money wisely in school and we hope they are rewarded with a good career. Every graduate is an asset to this community. We congratulate them.
The Daily Independent