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Outside of financial aid and scholarships, prospective students at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) have a variety of services available to help make the dream of a college education a reality.

One of those programs is Ready to Work, a partnership between BSCTC and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). They assist low-income parents who qualify for the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) with a variety of services, including counseling, advocacy, mentoring, referrals to community resources and job references and referrals.

The Work and Learn program serves Adult Education students who are working towards their GED or high school students who need remediation before taking college courses.

Both Ready to Work and Work to Learn programs have a work study component to them, which allows qualified students to earn extra income and gain valuable work experience while taking classes. Additionally, the income generated during this time will not reduce KTAP benefits.

The work study component allows our students to work in their desired field of study, said Cassandra Crum-Stratton, coordinator of the Ready to Work program. Many times, this leads to students earning full-time positions upon graduation.

In addition to work study, participants in Ready to Work and Work and Learn have access to other resources through their local case manager such as: resources for transportation and car repairs, child care, uniforms, school supplies, license feed, criminal background checks, drug test, drivers education and a $250 graduation bonus.

Student success is our top priority, added Crum. While our students are pursuing a degree or credential, they are learning skills in financial education, job readiness and life skills.

Eligible students in the Ready to Work and Work and Learn program also have access to an Individual Development Account through a partnership between BSCTC and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association. The secure savings account allows students to save money for college expenses with matching funds up to $4,000 provided by the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association.

For more information on Ready to Work or Work and Learn, contact Cassandra Crum-Stratton at (606) 889-4723 or email or Terry Burchett at (606) 218-1214 or email