Emphasizing the importance of scoring well on the ACT tests, staff and faculty at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) spoke with students at Harlan County High School on Tuesday.
Harlan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Brent Roark said the program was held to reinforce advice given to students by teachers and administrators at the high school.
“We met with students a couple of weeks ago trying to make sure they understand what they have to do and the scores they have to have on this test in order to be accepted into these different programs in college such as nursing and computer science,” said Roark. “Southeast is here to just back up what we told them the other day. A lot of our students don’t realize how important the ACT test is and what it’s actually going to mean to them further on down the road. It’s the most important test they’ve taken so far in their life.”
Roark said by scoring well on the ACT students will not have to take developmental college classes, which are non-credit bearing classes.
“We don’t want our kids in those classes,” said Roark. “A lot of times it’s just about motivation and trying. What we’ve found in the past is our kids have the ability, but they don’t see the need to try on this test and they don’t take it seriously. We’re trying to make sure they understand this test is a serious matter and it’s going to affect them for the rest of their life.”
Staff and faculty from SKCTC focused on telling students even though they may choose to go into the coal mines or truck driving, which doesn’t require a college education, things may change in life and they might find the need to go back to college in order to provide for their families.
“If I went in as a 42-year-old man and tried to take the ACT, I couldn’t replicate the score I made 20 some years ago,” said Roark. “I would struggle with it because you lose those basic skills, the things on the ACT. We’re just trying to tell them things do change in life for all of us. The score now on the ACT, gives them the ability to go back and get the training they need without having to take developmental classes in the future.”
Roark said the program was for the junior class only. He said the state pays for juniors to take the ACT one time. After that, the student must pay for the test each time they re-take it.
“The ACT will be given on March 5,” said Roark. “We want to see our students get that good 24, 25 or 26 score, which will allow them to do what they need to do. Every year I pull out our top 100 junior ACT scores and last year our average was 23, which is a fantastic average. But when you pull in our bottom 50 scores, it destroys that average. It’s that bottom 50 or 75 kids who won’t try on it — make that effort that are really hurting our overall school average. We’re focusing on all the kids, but we want to pick up those kids scoring at the bottom. It’s not bad kids. It’s just kids who don’t see the need to try or just don’t care.”
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