The Felix E. Martin, Jr. Foundation and Madisonville Community College have joined together to create the Martin Scholars Program, designed to increase the Associate degree attainment level of the residents of Muhlenberg County, which, with increased success rates, should subsequently act as a catalyst in the county for Economic Development efforts and postsecondary transitions. This program aims to help adults who have made a good start on their Associate Degree, but for whatever reason, have taken a break from their classes, and have not attended any college or university during the Spring 2012 semester. Over the eighteen-month period, each adult who qualifies will be recognized as a Martin Scholar then provided financial incentives to finish his/her Associate degree.
Martin Foundation President Kathy Jacobi had this to say to potential Martin Scholars, “The Felix E. Martin, Jr. Foundation wants to help make your plans for achieving your Associate Degree a reality. Mr. Martin passed away in 2007, and left his estate to a foundation that would provide people in Muhlenberg County with new opportunities. We think helping people complete their Associates Degree is a big step in that direction.” The Foundation has committed $163,125 to support these efforts towards increasing GED and Associate degree attainment.
Full-time residents of Muhlenberg County age 25 and older who:
For the next three terms (Summer 2012, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013), students accepted in the program will receive a $250 cash stipend each semester he/she is enrolled at MCC and makes satisfactory progress toward a degree. Satisfactory progress is shown by a form signed by the professor verifying that the student has at least a C average at the midpoint of the class. Satisfactory progress must be verified in all classes taken during the semester before a check will be mailed directly to the student.
Additionally, each qualified student who completes his/her Associate Degree at MCC will receive an additional $250 Completion Bonus.
The check will come directly to the student, and can be used to offset any costs he/she encounters, including books, supplies, equipment, transportation or child-care.
There will be an information session and open house at the Muhlenberg Campus of Madisonville Community College on Thursday April 26, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. MCC will have representatives from admissions, academic advising, registration, and financial aid onsite to answer questions you may have about enrolling, what classes to take or what other scholarships and aid may be available to you. The Muhlenberg Campus is located at 406 W. Everly Brothers Blvd in Central City.
If you have any questions or want to reserve a seat at the information session, you can contact Penny Jessup, Student Affairs Specialist, at (270) 757-9881.
Madisonville Community College president Dr. Judith L. Rhoads stated, “The Martin Scholars program is a wonderful partnership aimed solely at advancing Muhlenberg county residents and providing extra support to students to finish their degrees. With a degree comes higher earning power, and the county as a whole will benefit as well.”Martin Foundation President Kathy Jacobi had this to say to potential Martin Scholars, “This is a great opportunity to finish up your degree – and take a giant step toward providing for a brighter future for you and your family. We hope you will become one of the initial Martin Scholars and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity that Mr. Martin has provided!”
The Kentucky Workforce Investment Board announced a program called Kentucky Work Ready Communities in fall 2011 as part of some dramatic steps to improve the quality of the workforce in Kentucky, and communities throughout the Commonwealth are readying themselves for this new designation. Taking the steps necessary for Muhlenberg County to be designated a Work Ready Community is vital for the county to attract new businesses and investment and help existing companies grow and add new jobs. The certification is based on the quality of the local labor force and the community commitment to continuous improvement of the workforce.
A major component of the certification is the concept of “certified employability” from the individual level, as indicated by a person’s attainment of diplomas, degree, certificates or other credentials. These requirements will guide the Foundation’s efforts in adult education initiatives that will begin in 2012, in partnership with Madisonville Community College and the Greater Muhlenberg Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Leadership Muhlenberg Class.
Madisonville Community College (MCC) will play a key role in achieving the educational levels needed to become a Work Ready Community. Certification requires that 25 percent of the working age population must have at least a two-year degree, building to 32 percent in three years and 39 percent in five years.
The Foundation has developed a two-prong plan with MCC and Leadership Muhlenberg to have an immediate impact on adult education. In addition to the MCC Muhlenberg Scholars Program, discussed above, Madisonville Community College’s ACE2 office has a plan to increase the GED attainment level in Muhlenberg County. Like the Martin Scholars Program, the ACE2 plan would offer monetary incentives for those who are studying for their GED exam and also provide a Completion Bonus for those who complete the GED exam and pass. ACE2 hopes these monetary incentives encourage others currently in the pipeline, and act as motivation for new students to increase their educational attainment level.
The 2012 Leadership Muhlenberg Class has enthusiastically volunteered to oversee the marketing efforts to “get the word out” about this unique opportunity.