SKYCTC student from Logan urges legislators to fund community colleges fully
By John Wright


Posted on March 6, 2016 9:41 PM



John Wright lives and farms with his parents in the Adairville area. He is completing his Associate of Arts degree at SKYCTC while also studying agriculture at WKU. He has taken most of his SKYCTC classes at the nearby Franklin campus.

Dear Legislators of the Kentucky General Assembly,

My name is John Wright. I am a soon-to-be graduate of Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, as well as a joint admissions student of Western Kentucky University.

As time progressed in my senior year of high school, I became more and more distressed with the aspect of attending a four-year university. I was worried about how I would pay for my education as well as for living on campus. I had decided on WKU; however, the price tag of about $20,000 a year was more than I could afford.

However, in the spring semester of my senior year I enrolled in a dual credit math course at SKYCTC. Little did I know that this would shape my future. I instantaneously fell in love with the small class size, family atmosphere, and the reasonable price.

I began to research more into attending SKYCTC as an alternative to attending WKU. So in the fall semester of 2014 as a full-time freshman in college, I began my journey into an unknown territory. I was anxious about how college would be; however, there was no reason for my anxiety because soon after classes had begun the nature of SKYCTC alleviated those worries.

The professors were more helpful than I could imagine, and the small class sizes meant that I had personal interaction and built a relationship with my instructors. I felt so relaxed and comfortable attending classes.

I have heard many reports on how the state of Kentucky is considering a budget that would cut state funding for SKYCTC by 9 percent, and that is a tragedy. This college, like so many other community colleges around the state, provides an essential building block to a better life for so many individuals.

Since SKYCTC has such a lower cost of tuition, it puts a degree or certificate in the hands of students that without the college would otherwise not obtain a degree. SKYCTC for many is a stepping stone from high school onto a four-year university, as is the case with me. Without a doubt if I had not attended SKYCTC, I would be saddled with student loans that would cause financial and academic stress, as would all the other graduates of the college.

To many of the students here, this school is more than just classes and halls. It is a brighter future, a better tomorrow, and not just for ourselves. This better tomorrow is for our families, our future children, and for Kentucky. Community colleges across the state produce our medical professionals, our tradesmen, and our leaders. If you take away funding from SKYCTC, ultimately we all will pay the price.

I understand that sometimes finances are tight and that cuts have to be made. I don’t dispute the fact that Kentucky has to be fiscally responsible because we do. However, part of being fiscally responsible is cutting the right amount in the right places. If you have to reduce funding, then we must fight to minimize the effect on students. We need to try to reduce budgets across the board, rather than load our educational institutions with the full burden.

I strongly hold the belief that to drastically cut funding for not just SKYCTC, but all community colleges, is not only irresponsible, but detrimental to the future of Kentucky.

 




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