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AEP Foundation announces $815,000 grant to help Eastern Kentucky students earn college credit and career certifications

by on August 24, 2015
From left, Dr. Kay Adkins, president and CEO of Ashland Community and Technical College, and Dr. Robbie Fletcher, superintendent of Lawrence County Schools, join Kentucky Power President and COO Greg Pauley as he announces an AEP Foundation Credits Count grant totaling $815,000.

(Story by Allison Barker)

LOUISA, Ky. – Schoolchildren in Lawrence County, Kentucky, are the latest beneficiaries of an AEP Foundation project to boost STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and help students earn college credit while still in high school.

The Foundation has awarded an $815,000 Credits CountSM grant to aid the eastern Kentucky school district, the first such grant in Kentucky. The grant, which will be funded over five years in partnership with Ashland Community and Technical College, was announced by Greg Pauley, Kentucky Power president and chief operating officer.

“Far too often, we hear of barriers, such as the cost of tuition, that keep students in eastern Kentucky from moving on to higher education and reaching their career aspirations,” Pauley said. “The Foundation’s goal with this grant is to help students become fully prepared to graduate from high school ready for a career or with significant college credit hours toward a degree.”

The major components of Credit Counts include providing:

  • Middle school STEM experiences to engage students as early as possible in college exploration for STEM-related careers;
  • College course readiness assessments to identify gaps in writing, math and reading that may need tutoring support;
  • A summer bridge program to provide any needed English and math remediation prior to students entering the dual enrollment program; and
  • Dual enrollment in high school and at Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC), allowing students to graduate high school with at least 12 college credits in STEM-related fields, including information technology and energy.


“We thank the AEP Foundation for the opportunity to expand educational services for Lawrence County,” said Dr. Kay Adkins, ACTC’s president and chief executive officer. “AEP has supported the college for many years, and we are grateful for their commitment to quality education. We know the importance of postsecondary education and STEM achievement to the future of our region.  This partnership will help many students prepare for college success.”

Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Dr. Robbie Fletcher said Credit Counts illustrates that the AEP Foundation has a clear focus of helping students overcome academic and financial barriers to college and career achievement.

“AEP’s generosity has the potential to allow our students to graduate from high school with 12 or more college credits through dual credit classes with ACTC as well as be exposed to STEM-related fields of study,” Fletcher said. “We are very grateful for the opportunity.  Most importantly, I believe that AEP’s investment will have a huge return.  When our students are given an opportunity for success, they will not fail.”

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