Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Jay Box said Wednesday he is listening.
The leader of Kentucky s community college system came to Bowling Green to meet with students, staff and community members at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College s main campus.
It was Box s seventh visit to a college in the 16-school state system in recent months. The activity has been billed as the Out of the Box tour.
Box was recently named the president of KCTCS, replacing the only president the system ever had, Michael B. McCall. Box previously served as chancellor for the KCTCS, the No. 2 man, under McCall.
He said Wednesday after meeting with student leaders that he s listening because he needs information as the KCTCS Board of Regents develops its next master plan.
It is important for me to hear your dreams, Box told students. Box asked students where they wanted to be in five to seven years and where they wanted the college to develop resources in future years to help students, faculty and staff.
He said the information will help students attending SKYCTC in the year 2022.
This student group was one of the best we ve heard give input on the future, Box said. The 10 students cited the need for student tutors and strengthened academic advising as their top concerns.
Zach Staugaitis, 20, of Edmonson County, represented the college s Student Government Association and had a laundry list of needed improvements he wanted to discuss with Box.
Staugaitis, an information technology major, cited the need for SKYCTC to provide more food options than moldy items in a vending machine. He added that a new library and a larger study area for students are needed.
A cafeteria on campus encourages student involvement, the SGA representative said.
SKYCTC has on the drawing board a new multi-story building at its main Bowling Green campus that would contain a new library and more areas where students can study and use electronic devices.
Another concern mentioned was more coordination of college credit tracking between SKYCTC and one of its dual-credit partners, Western Kentucky University.
Houstin Bradstreet, 40, of Franklin, said he experienced issues transferring college credit he earned during his military career to SKYCTC. SKYCTC gave him credit for eight college hours and WKU gave him credit for 48 college hours. Later, SKYCTC adjusted its amount, but Bradstreet had already spent time taking classes he didn t need to take to receive a degree.
I d like to see a re-evaluation of transfer credits, Bradstreet said. He is pursuing an engineering degree at WKU and working to establish a student veterans chapter at SKYCTC.
Box said the listening tour and a recent email survey of KCTCS students gives him insight into future needs.
A recent systemwide survey with 3,300 responses indicated students want KCTCS to look at program development and program delivery, he said.
The issue is figuring out which programs no longer meet students needs and how to implement new programs.
Life issues are the No. 1 reason people drop out of college and many people have trouble adjusting to the college environment, Box said.
The KCTCS president said the system continues to battle the Kentucky General Assembly for funding, which was cut in 2008. Box said KCTCS resources are 29 percent lower than those of similar systems in contiguous states to Kentucky and 38 percent lower than state college systems across America.