January 24, 2013 was a red-letter day in the history of Hardin County Schools.The Hardin County Board of Education voted to accept a tract of land from Western Kentucky University to build an Early College & Career Center. The tract of land was made possible through a gift to WKU from the Central Kentucky Community Foundation in 2007. The land is adjacent to the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College campus.
The center will fulfill several roles. High school students in the Hardin County Schools will use the center to take courses in several career pathways. The pathways include, but are not limited to, health science, engineering (the Project Lead the Way curriculum), manufacturing, automotive technology, media arts & communication and culinary arts & hospitality services.
“The ‘what’ of this center is important, but the most powerful aspect of this concept is the ‘how’," Superintendent Nannette Johnston said. "We have heard loud and clear from our business partners that they are longing for workers that have the ‘soft skills’ and work ethic skills to be successful in our community. We share the belief that many of the skills that students need to be successful in life – persistence, resilience, motivation, teamwork, problem solving, responsibility and dependability – are not measured through an assessment. They are present in the performance of the individual through their daily life.
She added: "Our vision is to continue to work collaboratively with our community and business partners and our post secondary partners to create classroom experiences that parallel the real world. In fact, we are creating an advisory council comprised of many of community members in an effort to keep a pulse of the relevant needs of our community.”
The proximity to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is vital. Students will be able to easily attend classes at any part of the campus.
“Whether it be dual-credit opportunities or career-centered classes through technical college, our students will benefit greatly from ECTC,” Johnston noted. “The faculty at ECTC is top-notch and will bring students into bright and exciting new worlds.”
Western Kentucky University is also prepared to share faculty with Hardin County Schools and offer unique and specially designed courses for students. WKU will also have the availability to offer evening college courses in the new center after HCS high school students dismiss for the day. Through a continuing partnership with ECTC, this center will also offer dual credit and early college enrollment opportunities.
Watch this incredible video about EC3! (Plays only in Internet Explorer)