President Adams delivers presentation at national convening highlighting success of students in recovery | SKCTC

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President Adams delivers presentation at national convening highlighting success of students in recovery

Middlesboro, Cumberland --On February 17th, Southeast President Vic Adams participated in Achieving the Dream’s Annual Convening 2022. Over 3,000 educators from across the country registered for this week-long virtual event to discuss best practices in higher education. Adams led a breakout session in which he shared the College’s efforts towards recovery to work. 

“In partnership with community action agencies and other organizations, we have created opportunities for individuals in recovery to have a new beginning,” said Dr. Adams. “We have found that these students are among our most resilient, and our role is providing them with the support they need to earn a credential, go to work, and lead a healthy and successful life.”

In recent years, Southeast has received grant funding to build its efforts towards these at-risk populations. From 2016-19, the College participated in Paths to Promise, a research-based project led by EKCEP and DCBS. Approximately 500 individuals benefited from the program and 95 received expanded services, including money for childcare, travel expenses, and part-time positions with local business partners. 

“Many of these students received credentials in health care and technical programming, and just over 40% transferred to a four-year institution,” said Adams. 

With a $250,000 entrepreneurial grant from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, the College hired a success coach to recruit and support students in recovery. From 2019-20, the PACE program (Providing Accelerated Career Employment) served approximately 100 students, with nearly half earning a credential within the first year. 

During the grant period, Southeast also offered a new opportunity: an on-line, short-term Recovery Coach certificate with the option to apply this credential towards an associate and, eventually, a bachelor’s degree in counseling from one of its educational partners.

“These individuals have a passion for working with others in recovery,” said Adams. “Once they find themselves healthy, they become outstanding recovery coaches.”

Students have been successful in other programs, including computerized manufacturing and machining, air conditioning technology, construction technology, electrical technology, welding, industrial maintenance, and fiber optics. 

According to President Adams, some graduates have secured positions in health care fields. “With the right support, encouragement, and wraparound services, our students in recovery can be successful in any area,” he said.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 that leads a non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education. Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College was chosen as one of seven institutions nationally to participate in the Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work cohort, collaborating with ATD professionals to find new ways to build on current success. 


Dr. Vic Adams poses for a photograph in front of a brick wall.At the ATD national convening, Dr. Vic Adams highlighted Southeast’s efforts to build better lives for students in recovery.