Whitesburg KY

Coal Academy receives award from rural colleges

The Kentucky Coal Academy (KCA), which operates under the auspices of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and sponsors programs at Big Sandy, Hazard, Madisonville and Southeast Kentucky community and technical colleges, was recognized for its efforts to assist rural colleges to develop and enhance mining programming, both in the United States and Canada, at a meeting of the Rural Community College Alliance in Albuquerque in late September.

Accepting the award was KCA Director Dr. Bill Higginbotham, who has traveled to Minnesota, Colorado, West Virginia – as well as Canada – to discuss the ways in which colleges that participate in the academy are developing curricula around state-of-the-art simulators that often allow training to take place in a classroom setting rather than at a mine site.

In addition to serving community colleges in Kentucky’s coalfields, the KCA has worked with several local school districts to develop junior coal academies that promote curriculum development in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

Through its member colleges, the Kentucky Coal Academy has provided training for more than 13,000 individuals, since being created by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2005.

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