Hazard Community and Technical College helps students become nurses, radiology technologists, sonographers, physical therapy assistants, and surgical technologists, but did you know HCTC and its partners at the University Center of the Mountains (UCM) have everything you need to become a doctor, pharmacist, physical therapist, medical laboratory scientist, or earn many more advanced biomedical degrees? The Associate of Science degree (AS) has a biomedical track that helps students get all the prerequisite courses they need to apply for most of the professional doctoral programs in various medically related fields. We have transfer pathways either directly to or via one of the UCM partners into these programs as well. HCTC also offers support to help students get admitted into the program by providing standardized test preparation for entrance exams, interview preparation, and, starting this spring, a transfer boot camp to help those who entered the program be prepared for the rigors of their chosen field as well as help those who need to strengthen their application. This fall, two hundred high school students came to HCTC to meet with representatives from the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Lindsey Wilson College, and the University of the Cumberlands, and met with representatives in medical, dental, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, medical laboratory science, and other fields. HCTC students have been very successful getting into their programs. Last year, several students taking one or more of the pre-requisite courses at HCTC were admitted to programs such as osteopathy, pharmacy, medical laboratory science, and physician’s assistant. Additionally, several students graduated from Physicians Assistant, MLS, and Pharmacy programs. So, not only are our students earning admittance into these advanced programs, they are succeeding. We have already had two students accepted to pharmacy school this year.
SaVannah Roark couldn’t be more pleased with the career path she is taking. She graduated from HCTC in May 2015 with an Associate in Science degree and she is now enrolled at the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health, majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. She plans to become a physician’s assistant. “I recommend others come to HCTC first, just as I did. While I felt academically challenged at HCTC, I know I received a great foundation for the classes I’m taking now. HCTC was the perfect choice for me because it was close to home and affordable.”
Matt Williams plans to be a physical therapist, and he is on his way to realizing that goal through the University of Kentucky. He is thankful for the one-on-one education he received at HCTC because he feels equally prepared as the other students in his classes. “HCTC was the perfect stepping stone for me; I received a high-quality education.” Williams graduated from Centre College but he turned to HCTC to get classes he needed to work toward a degree from UK. At age 26, he knows he will have lots of options when he completes his training – whether he works in a clinic, a rehabilitation center, or even goes on to teach. “HCTC is a great choice; I would recommend others attend here,” he said.
Deanna Chaney is on the fast track to become a pharmacist. She worked full time and took 20 credit hours a semester at HCTC so she could enroll at the Sullivan College of Pharmacy in Louisville. In June, she will earn her doctorate degree and plans to work in the area. “Enrolling at HCTC was a good move for me. It felt like family here. The tuition was cheaper here; I had the chance to live at home to save money; and the education is as good as I would have had anywhere,” she said. She encourages others to job shadow, as she did, to find the career that is the best fit. “I tried going to a big university right after high school. My only regret is I did not enroll at HCTC sooner. It’s been a great fit for me and my career.”