Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC)
was the keynote speaker during a network luncheon sponsored by the Floyd County Chamber
of Commerce on Tuesday, January 12 at Peking restaurant.
Im here to tell you the good news that higher education is thriving in Floyd and surrounding
counties, said Dr. Stephenson. The future of our region depends upon our ability to
be flexible and receptive to changes that keep our programs relevant to the industry
sectors currently in our area and those who plan who invest in our region.
Since his arrival in June. Dr. Stephenson has the college functioning at a record
level. Last year, the college received more than $2.2 million in funding from the
Economic Development Agency to construct the states first Broadband Technology Center.
That was coupled with an additional $1 million -- $500,000 each from the Appalachian
Regional Commission and a Community Development Block Grant.
We will be on the frontlines of innovation and transformation in our region, he assured
those in attendance. We expect nothing less because our students and you, our stakeholders,
deserve nothing less.
Dr. Stephenson highlighted the strong working relationship with Floyd County Schools.
The college and school district created one of the first early college academies in
the state in 2012. Since its inception, 28 Floyd County students have graduated high
school with an associate degree.
Those graduates have earned more than $2.5 million in scholarships, he added. Because
of the partnership with Dr. [Henry] Webb and the school district, we have early college
academies in four of the five counties we serve.
Currently, more than 100 students are enrolled in the colleges Early College Academy.
Think of the impact we are making by allowing these students the platform to earn
a high school diploma and college degree simultaneously? he asked.
Dr. Stephenson said the importance of dialogue between chambers, their members and
the college are critical in ensuring that our programs are relevant now and for years