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Southeast Leading the Way with Plugged-In KY Initiative

The Harlan County and Bell County Adult Education program, operated by Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College and funded by the Kentucky Adult Education Department., has been selected as a pilot program for the six-month PluggedIn-KY initiative.

The program began recently at sites in Harlan and Middlesboro and is designed for individuals who desire to earn a GED diploma in a technology-based environment.

Participants, according to Brenda Morris, coordinator of the program, will be prepared to pass the GED exam while also being able to earn the Kentucky Employability Certificate while achieving Microsoft certification, all the while gaining skills vital in succeeding in the 21st Century workplace.

Bobbie and Kit talk with students in the Plugged-In KY Initative.
Christopher Hensley, left, and Bobbie Dixon instructors with the PluggedIn-KY initiative, operated by Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College, worked with students recently at the classroom on the Harlan campus. The program is a six-month pilot program funded by the Kentucky Adult Education Department. (Photo by Chris Jones)

Fifteen students are presently enrolled at Bell County and 10 students are in the program in Harlan County. Classes meet three times each week for a total of 12 hours. All instruction is conducted by certified personnel including Bobbie Dixon, Travis Cox and Christopher Hensley at Harlan, while the Middlesboro staff includes Kathy Newman, Jinah Yeo and Dwayne Gibson.

The program is the first of its kind in the state. Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College was granted the pilot project by the Kentucky Adult Education Department.

The program was first implemented a year ago in southwest Virginia where it was well received and proved to be highly successful, according to Ms. Morris.

Students who complete the six-month contextualized curriculum will graduate not only with a GED diploma but also with college credits, a portfolio of technology certifications and in depth understanding of technology sector skills and employability skills that will enable them to pursue entry-level work or additional college coursework.

During the project-based course, participants will work individually and in groups to complete a series of technology projects, such as creating simple software programs, building virtual worlds or designing video games. Student will be supported by professional mentors, instructed both online and in the classroom by trained instructors, explained Morris.

The program was developed by and is supervised by Professor Laurie Henry of the University of Kentucky and is conducted in partnership with Kentucky Adult Education, SKCTC, Harlan and Bell County Adult Education programs and the Microsoft Corp.

For further details about Plugged-In KY and the overall program, contact Morris on the Cumberland campus at 606/589-3061.