|Pulaski Technical College on July 27 honored the 53 graduates of its Career Pathways Program in a ceremony at the college's new Campus Center.
The Career Pathways program helps parents improve their education and employability by getting them started on a career pathway.
Program staff work with students individually to help remove any obstacle that may prevent students from being successful in college, whether it is a childcare or transportation issue or tuition assistance. The 280 students in the program have access to tutoring, advising and job placement services.
The program is open to parents who have a child younger than 19 living at home and who have financial need. More than 1,000 students applied for the program when it began in January 2006 at Pulaski Tech.
Pulaski Technical College President Dr. Dan F. Bakke congratulated students on their success.
"All of you have worked very hard to get to where you are," Dr. Bakke told graduates. "You balance jobs with college and your family responsibilities and that is not an easy task. You've shown that you are committed to getting an education and reaching your career goals."
The graduates are in varying stages of their educational pursuits.
"The unique thing about the Career Pathways program is it is designed to meet students where they are and help them to take the next step toward their education and career goals," said Ellen Ingram, director of the Career Pathways program at PTC.
Eighteen students completed technical certificates in areas including practical nursing, medical transcription, computer information systems, airframe and early childhood. Fifteen students completed the Certified Nursing Assistant training course, and 14 students completed a two-year associate degree. Four students completed a General Education Diploma (GED). Some of the graduates hope to find jobs immediately while others plan to continue their education.
Also honored were 10 students who recently completed internships at businesses and industries throughout Central Arkansas.
Career Pathways is a collaborative project of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges, Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Department of Workforce Education, Arkansas Transitional Employment Board and the Southern Good Faith Fund.
Ten other colleges offer the Career Pathways program.
Dr. Linda Beene, director, Arkansas Department of Higher Education (left), Senator Tracy Steele (right) and Dr. Dan F. Bakke, college president (center), take time for a photo with Rosie Muldrew, Career Pathways employment specialist and 2006 summer interns.