Posters and billboards around Muhlenberg County direct adults to speed up your education! as part of a cooperative effort through the Felix E. Martin, Jr. Foundation, Madisonville Community College (MCC), and the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress in support of the county s quest for the Work Ready Community designation. With this designation, business and industry leaders would recognize Muhlenberg County as an area to be considered for expansion or location purposes for its highly-skilled workforce. The current speed up your education! campaign encourages adults to: 1) finish their GED or improve their computer skills; 2) take the National Career Readiness Certificate test designed to measure the employability of those who take the test; or 3) complete their associate degree.

One of the biggest challenges to securing the Work Ready Community designation is meeting the criteria that one-fourth of the county s adult population between the ages of 25 and 64 have the equivalent of an associate degree or higher. Muhlenberg County is close, with 22.4% at that level; however, Ken Robinson, CEO and President of the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, projects that an additional 470 degrees will be needed to meet the goal.

MCC Chief Student Affairs Officer Dr. Jay Parrent has been working with Muhlenberg County leaders in the Work Ready Community effort and notes that MCC provides local adults with ample pathways to close that gap. Not only is there the Muhlenberg County Campus where a student can take all the classes needed for an associate in arts or an associate in science degree for transfer to a four-year institution, students can also take the required general education courses for one of more than twenty career training programs offered by MCC. Moreover, students needing flexibility to work around job and family obligations will find many online course opportunities offered by the college.

Madisonville Community College has long been noted for the excellent nursing and allied health programs offered on MCC s Health Sciences Campus (750 North Laffoon Street, Madisonville). Business administration, information technology, education and early childhood education are just a few of the many programs offered on MCC s North Campus (2000 College Drive, Madisonville). There are also excellent career opportunities in applied technology fields such as welding, HVAC, mining, biomedical technology systems, and advanced integrated technology. Students interested in human services, paralegal, energy management, or health care informatics careers will find flexibility in these 100% online programs. For more information on the various program options, visit MCC s website at

For those concerned about the cost of going to college, Penny Jessup, student affairs specialist at the Muhlenberg County Campus, shares that MCC is the most affordable option for local residents. MCC tuition costs are less than 40% of the public four-year institutions and nearly three-fourths of MCC students receive federal financial aid. Moreover, the Felix E. Martin, Jr. Foundation has generously provided additional financial help for students, age 25 and older with at least 30 college-level credit hours, to complete their associate s degree. Students accepted in the Martin Scholars program receive a $250 cash stipend each semester they make satisfactory progress toward a degree at MCC. In addition, participants receive a $400 bonus when they complete their degree at MCC. Students interested in becoming a Martin Scholar are invited to visit the Muhlenberg County Campus on Thursday, July 17, anytime from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to learn more the program.

MCC s fall semester classes start on Monday, August 18. Call Penny at 270-757-9881 or visit the Muhlenberg County Campus (406 West Everly Brothers Blvd., Central City) to get started.