Fri, 02/05/2021 - 11:23am
University of the Cumberlands is doing its part to help Kentuckians be work-ready.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is promoting a scholarship campaign aimed at helping adults attend college. It’s called the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS), and University of the Cumberlands is one of the higher education institutions throughout the Commonwealth that is offering qualifying degree programs.
“Building a better Kentucky means supporting educational opportunities for every Kentucky family,” Gov. Beshear said in a press release. “During this ongoing pandemic when many Kentuckians are seeking new opportunities, this scholarship can help students get free or reduced tuition to take industry-specific, short-term courses that prepare them to get to work in weeks, or they can even choose to earn an associate degree.”
According to the release, the scholarship, which began in 2017, covers the remaining cost of tuition and fees after federal, state and campus grants and scholarships are applied. It provides up to 60 hours of tuition for anyone who has not yet earned an associate degree in specific technical programs.
Scholarship awards are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Cumberlands will verify each student’s eligibility, including enrollment in an approved program.
Cumberlands is offering two associate of applied science (AAS) degree programs through WRKS: an AAS in business administration or an AAS in information technology science.
Students can apply for admission for free online anytime at www.ucumberlands.edu/apply. They can contact the Office of Undergraduate Online Admissions at 606.539.4372 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about these programs or the WRKS opportunity.
“These Work Ready Scholarship opportunities are a fantastic tool for Kentucky students to utilize, should they be looking to pursue an associate degree,” said Timothy Noe, director of undergraduate enrollment at Cumberlands. “Cumberlands always put its students first. We are constantly evolving and finding new ways to better serve our students. Joining in on the WRKS opportunity further solidifies our desire to do what is best for our students.”
Christopher Chandler is a self-taught software developer working in IT. He’s pursuing his AAS in information technology at Cumberlands to open doors for himself in the workforce. Chandler enrolled before he knew he qualified for WRKS, and, when he heard the news, it was “both a surprise and a blessing” to him and his family.
“The cost of attending school was a major consideration,” he said. “The Work Ready Scholarship has allowed me to take a full course load that I couldn't have afforded otherwise. The cost per credit hour is less than in-state tuition at public universities.”
Like many online learners, he is trying to fit in classwork around his work schedule and family time. That said, Chandler appreciates the flexibility that online courses offer. In his words, the bi-term format at Cumberlands “keeps me focused.” The content has “filled in knowledge gaps” he had in information technology, and core courses have also addressed areas like business and writing, which Chandler believes will benefit him in his career. After he finishes his AAS, he plans to continue at Cumberlands in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.
The Work Ready campaign is funded by the Kentucky Lottery and is a partnership between KCTCS, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky Lottery, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, The Graduate Network, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and AARP Kentucky. It is also supported and partially funded by Lumina Foundation.
For more information about the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, visit https://workreadykentucky.com.
To learn more about University of the Cumberlands and its degree programs, visit www.ucumberlands.edu.