PIKEVILLE – Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), was the keynote speaker during the Pikeville Rotary club meeting on Wednesday, July 8 at the Landmark restaurant.
The college has experienced tremendous growth in Pike County, said Dr. Stephenson. Currently, 34 percent of students enrolled at BSCTC are from Pike County.
“It’s an exciting time to be in Pikeville, Pike County and the Big Sandy region,” said Dr. Stephenson. “With the excitement of SOAR (Shaping our Appalachian Region), the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the economic and community development taking shape here, this region is poised for something great.”
Dr. Stephenson, a member of the board of directors of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, encouraged those in attendance to help the college and its students explore a “passion for the possible.”
“If not now, when?” he asked. “If not us, who?”
BSCTC recently announced a collaboration with the University of Pikeville (UPIKE) on a Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance program. This effort is designed to correlate with the construction of the Kentucky Information Highway (I-Highway).
“When we work together, we can accomplish so much more,” he said. UPIKE will provide housing for students completing the program. Stackable credentials will allow students to earn three certifications – Certified Fiber Optics Technician, Certified Fiber Optics Specialist and Certified Fiber Optic Splicing Specialist – and work towards an associate degree. The college and UPIKE are discussing ways to provide a seamless transfer to a baccalaureate degree in telecommunications. The certifications will be sanctioned by the Fiber-Optics Association (FOA).
Stephenson also highlighted the college’s two expansion projects on its Pikeville campus. One will be a 60,000 square-foot building and parking garage. The other is the construction of the Center for Excellence in Telecommunications Installation and Maintenance.
“We want to be responsive to the needs of our students, business and industry,” said Dr. Stephenson. “We need your help as we embark on this journey to become a premier and comprehensive community and technical college.”