Stephanie PraterStephanie Lea Prater
When looking at the years of attendance, the typical reader will think it has taken Stephanie Prater five years to achieve a two-year degree. This is definitely not the case! Early in life, Stephanie knew she wanted to be a nurse and wanted to attend college close to home. Eager to begin her career, Stephanie chose to enroll in Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) night classes while a high school sophomore in 2007 and through her senior year in 2009. An added advantage to this decision is that her mother, Peggy, has been a PCC/BSCTC employee for over 28 years. Because of this personal connection, Stephanie had first-hand knowledge of the quality of the teaching faculty and the concern for students exemplified by all employees. What a great way to begin her college career. After high school, she enrolled at a four-year university for one semester but soon realized a smaller college was the best option for her.
Stephanies eagerness paid off. She has three degrees from BSCTC: Associate in Science, May 2009; Associate in Arts, December 2009; and, an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing In May 2012. One month after receiving her nursing degree, she was employed by the Pikeville Medical Center. Prater has been on the cardiac floor since June 2012.
Stephanie said this about BSCTC: BSCTC faculty encouraged me to follow my dreams and prepared me for my nursing career in a way that, I think, only they could. The College provided a learning environment where I could gain the wisdom and knowledge needed to become a nurse and the compassion to be effective. The instructors at BSCTC played a huge role in my success by supporting me and always guiding me.
While pursuing her degree, Stephanie was afforded the opportunity to develop her leadership skills. She was invited to become a member of the colleges Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) organization, an organization that recognizes and encourages the academic achievement of two-year college students. PTK provides opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming. Her leadership abilities were further developed as the treasurer of the Kentucky Association of Nursing Students (KANS), a pre-professional organization for nursing students enrolled in accredited nursing programs.
When asked what she would tell high school seniors about college, she stated, I would tell seniors to choose a college based on their opinion of it and not just go to a college because all their friends are going to that college. Staying close to home at a small institution worked well for me, and I would encourage graduates to get their basics in a small college such as BSCTC and to acclimate to college life before moving to a larger institution.