Hazard Community and Technical College’s Professor Sandy Phipps (on left) and University Center of the Mountain’s HCTC Transfer Counselor, Renee Back (on right), visited Sebastian Middle School’s 7th and 8th graders. Mary Combs (center) was glad to have HCTC representatives to talk about careers, classes, scholarships, and the importance of going to college.
The University Center of the Mountains (UCM) is a dynamic consortium of postsecondary educational institutions bringing more bachelor's and master's degrees and educational opportunities close to home in southeastern Kentucky. The partnership will add other universities and colleges to deliver more advanced degrees based on student, employer and community demand.
The eight present partners are:
The UCM service area is the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) which serves the following eight counties: Perry, Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, Lee, Leslie, Owsley and Wolfe.
Since the UCM opened its doors in fall 2004, through the collaborative efforts of its partnering four-year institutions and the community college system, as of December 2012, 953 degrees (bachelor's and/or master's) have been awarded to eastern Kentuckians.
The UCM provides increased access to bachelor's and master's level degree attainments for both traditional and non-traditional students by overcoming several of the challenges (geographic and financial access) that have previously made it difficult for Eastern Kentuckians to earn a post-secondary education by bringing select bachelor's and master's degree programs closer to home. In addition, the UCM partnership provides efficient use of financial resources and human resources (while also avoiding duplication of services) during increasingly difficult economic times because of the shared use of administrative/staff resources and shared classroom, meeting, and office space provided within the UCM facility on the Hazard HWY 15 South campus of HCTC.