President's Blog | SCC

President's Blog

students studying in classroomThe new school year underway at SCC! Campus is buzzing with the faces of new students eager to learn and grow. Even though this time of year is hectic, it is also always one of my favorites. There is something empowering and uplifting about being on a college campus when students arrive. All summer, faculty and staff have been preparing for classes and making changes that benefit our students. I know 2017-2018 is going to be a great year!

In this blog, I wanted to give you some tips for succeeding in college. Things like, “be on time to class,” “ask questions,” “get to know your professors,” and “work hard.” While these tips are essential to your success at SCC, I think it is also important to get back to the basics when talking about success in college, which is parallel to success in life, in my opinion.

In his book, “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten,” Robert Fulghum takes simple, childhood wisdom and applies it to more complicated adult life. I think many of the tips and rules we learned as boys and girls of only age 5 or 6 can also be applied to success in college (A few of Fulghum’s tips are in bold below).

  • Share everything. Okay, so maybe this does not apply to your test answers, but as you embark on your college journey, we invite you to share your natural gifts and talents with others on the campus community. Are you good at sports? Then consider this your invitation to start an intermural team on campus. Is math your thing? We may need you as a peer tutor. Getting involved on campus is very important to your success as a college student. With dozens of clubs and organizations, SCC is a great place to get involved!
  • Clean up your own mess. Sure, you should certainly throw away your trash and take your cafeteria tray to the designated place, but you should also remember that, as a college student, you are responsible for your own actions. College is different from high school, even if you are commuting to class and your home life feels pretty much the same. Unless you have signed documents allowing it, even your parents don’t have access to your grades in college. This means that showing up to class on time and prepared, keeping track of your financial and class-related obligations, and communication with your professors falls to you, just as it will when you finish your degree and enter the workforce.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Like that little seed, we want to see you grow while you are at SCC! It is our goal to build strong foundations…personally, professionally, academically, socially, physically, mentally, and emotionally…so you can flourish. College should challenge you to the core.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Early in your college career is a perfect time to explore new interests. There are dozens of academic and technical training programs at SCC and you may end of loving something you had never considered. Perhaps you have always wanted to know how to build, but never took the time to learn. Why not try your hand at construction or welding? Or if you’re hoping to run a Fortune 500 company someday, our leadership course may be beneficial.


  • Wash your hands before you eat, and,
  • Just because (See point #2).


We are still enrolling students all week. The time to start your college journey may be now. I look forward to seeing you on campus.

Dr. Jo Marshall

work ready logoCommunity colleges like SCC are designed to provide new beginnings for our students. As you may have heard, the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship is a wonderful way for those interested in several high-demand careers to attend school for free. Here’s some information on the scholarship and how it can benefit you from KCTCS President Dr. Jay Box:

“There’s a new way for Kentuckians to earn college credit tuition free. The new Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship pays for up to 32 hours for programs in five in-demand business sectors.

The 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) offer numerous programs in these fields, which are health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, business services/information technology and construction/trades. Many of these programs can be completed in four months or less and can lead to careers that pay higher salaries than some requiring a bachelor’s degree.

It’s no secret Kentucky employers have many jobs that go unfilled because they cannot find qualified workers. In fact, Kentucky’s workforce participation rate is 47th in the country (57.6 percent vs. the U.S. average of 62.7 percent) and Kentucky businesses are clamoring for educated workers to fill jobs. This scholarship is designed to connect the needs of employers with the needs of Kentuckians.

We appreciate Gov. Bevin and Sec. Heiner’s commitment to elevating educational attainment in Kentucky and believe this scholarship is a great step toward helping thousands of Kentuckians improve their lives. It provides a terrific opportunity for people who want to get in, get out and get to work quickly.

Anyone who has not yet earned a college degree of any type is eligible for free tuition toward earning a certificate or diploma in one of the five sectors. There are no income or age limits to qualify. The only educational requirement to apply is a high school diploma or GED. Prospective students must first apply for federal financial aid before they are eligible to apply for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.

For more information on KCTCS programs that qualify for the WRKS, visit

SCC is proud to be part of this initiative. We hope many students will take advantage of this opportunity.

See you on campus!

Dr. Jo Marshall

seasme street characters“Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?

The people that you meet each day.”

I don’t know about you, but when I hear those lyrics, I can’t help but start humming or singing the upbeat Sesame Street song that is so well known and loved by people of all ages. On Sesame Street, the song is meant to introduce children to the variety of people they encounter on a daily basis – the baker, the mail carrier, a dentist, a teacher and many more.

Learning about different jobs and professions as a child is exciting! Each role is fun to dress up like, act out or even dream about becoming when you’re grown. What many adults don’t realize, though, is that those dreams don’t have to end just because time has passed. Many doctors, lawyers, teachers, bakers, hair stylists, skilled workers, business owners and others that you encounter each day of your life got their start at Somerset Community College.

Sometimes it feels like we are so busy rushing through our “to-do” lists, shuttling kids or grandkids here and there, putting in a full day of work on the job or just managing our households that we forget to look around. There are people all around us and each one of those people has value and most likely had, or has, a dream for their lives. As a life-long educator, I naturally gravitate toward thinking about their education. Did they become what they dreamed of being as a child or something different? Are they happy? Do they regret not finishing college after life circumstances made them drop out? Are they currently enrolled in a college or university? What are their life goals now and how can education help get them there?

If you too are wondering some of these same things, I personally invite you to the SCC Open House on the Somerset and Laurel Campuses this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. All the people you need to meet will be there and will be happy to help you through the process. We’re even giving away free tuition to one lucky attendee. I hope to see you there!

-Dr. Jo Marshall

Recently, an employee of the college brought me a piece of literature she received in the mail. It was titled “Does Attending a Four-Year University Still Make Sense?” The employee stated the insert was sent to her as an accompaniment to a 529 report, which is a children’s savings account for education.

The opening statement grabbed my attention. It said, “It was once an unthinkable question: ‘Is a four-year college experience the best path for a high school grad?’”

The article challenged that long-standing notion, stating that with changes in the employment market, a higher demand for skilled workers, rising tuition and fees, and other shifts in the world around us, a four-year degree might not be the right path for many of today’s students.

I read the article, intrigued and excited that this critical information was again reaching a national audience, and had been distributed by an organization other than community colleges. The article provided a chart of high-paying jobs, making more than $50,000 per year, and as I read them, I counted. One, two, three, four, five….noting how many of these programs are offered right here at Somerset Community College.

Overall, the article, produced by Hartford Funds, was an accurate description of why students should take a closer look at community colleges. U.S. News and World Report also recently listed 10 reasons a community college is a great choice for high school grads, as well as those returning to school after a change in life events or desire for new skills. These included: lower cost, academic flexibility, financial aid availability, school-life balance, STEM education opportunities, transfer agreements, elements of traditional colleges (such as student life), personalized attention, professional certificates, and online class options.

At SCC, you will find all those things and more…and that is why I am proud to lead our College.


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