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Floyd County Schools Superintendent Dr. Henry Webb, left, and Dr. Charles V. Chrestman, interim president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College, sign a memorandum of agreement to form the Floyd County IT Early College Academy.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) and Floyd County Schools have announced the formation of eastern Kentuckys first Information Technology Early College Academy.

Fifteen Floyd County high school students will take part in the inaugural class in August. Participants will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Information Technology and high school diploma simultaneously.

Dr. Charles V. Chrestman, interim president of BSCTC, said the partnership opens a new pathway for students to take advantage of the early college academy concept.

Jobs in information technology are in high demand, and this program correlates well with initiatives such as fiber expansion that SOAR is spearheading and employment programs like Teleworks USA, said Dr. Chrestman. We are very thankful for the relationships we have with all of our public and independent school districts. What we have been able to do in Floyd County has and will continue to serve as a model for others to follow.

Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced a $100 million plan to expand high-speed internet across the state in January. This will include more than 3,000 miles of fiber infrastructure being installed in eastern Kentucky.

Students in the IT Early College Academy will be able to participate in the colleges programming track.

Dr. Webb said the IT Early College Academy builds upon skills students are obtaining through the districts digital conversion.

Collaboratively, we are working to provide outstanding opportunities for our kids, he said. I want to thank Dr. Chrestman and the college for their work in making this happen.