Tammy Ball, LCSW is the coordinator of the Human Services program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. The world of social work has changed over the years, but the mission remains the same All People Matter.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College offers several degrees, including an Associate in Applied Science in Human Services and Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, which are stepping stones into careers in social work. March is Social Work Month.

Social work is a rewarding profession, said Tammy Ball, a licensed clinical social worker and coordinator of BSCTCs Human Services program. With our country dealing with issues such as educational gaps, health care disparities, mental health access, income inequality and supporting veterans, social workers stand at the frontlines of providing services that enhance the quality of life for so many people.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers are in high demand. From 2012 through 2022, there is an expected 19 percent increase in employment for social workers, paying an average annual salary of $44.200 a year. Meanwhile, social and human service assistants are expected to grow 22 percent from 2012 through 2022, paying an average annual salary of $28,850 a year. There are currently more than 600,000 social workers in the United States with another 130,000 people working as community and social service managers.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College provide students an affordable option to a college education. According to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, students can save on average over $7,000 a year by attending a community college in Kentucky. Through the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges Go2Transfer initiative, students can transfer with ease and confidence at all state institutions and some private institutions to finish their baccalaureate degree.

Thelma Fluty Goforth, of Inez, was one of those students. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Morehead State University in 2013. She completed her basics and took Human Services classes at Big Sandy Community and Technical College in 2010-11 before transferring to Morehead State University.

Taking my basics at Big Sandy Community and Technical College allowed me the time to figure out for sure what I wanted to do, Goforth said. I thought I wanted to do something else, but after taking Human Services classes at Big Sandy, I found my true passion counseling.

Goforth said BSCTCs attention to student success was a key contributor. Tammy [Ball] was so helpful, added Goforth. She took the time to explain everything and help me weigh out the options. She truly cared about me, my road to completion and my eventual success.

Goforth currently works as a school-based therapist for a regional organization in eastern Kentucky and is pursuing her masters degree in social work from the University of Kentucky.

Students drive us to do our best every day, said Ball. We have the task of training and advising students who have dreams and aspirations. All of the faculty here at BSCTC strive to see our students achieve success in the classroom and in life.

For more information on BSCTCs Human Services program, contact Ball at (606) 889-4787 or email