(July 19, 2021) The Kentucky School Boards Association, in coordination with the KSBA Educational Foundation, announced an expansion of its First Degree Scholarship Program to now include scholarships for career and technical education (CTE).
The foundation’s board of directors met in Lexington on July 16 to discuss the expansion prior to KSBA’s 2021 Summer Leadership Institute. Funded by the foundation, the First Degree scholarships are awarded annually to college-bound seniors who are the first in their immediate families to earn a postsecondary degree.
The planned expansion of the program will provide financial support for at least two career and technical education industry certifications for Kentucky high school students in each of KSBA’s 12 regions, for a total of 24 awards (12 male and 12 female).
The scholarships will offset costs associated with the assessments students are required to take prior to receiving industry certifications in a number of career pathways. Some assessments cost upwards of $500.
“By providing scholarship funding for selected students to pursue one of a long list of CTE industry certifications while still in high school, KSBA is helping to ensure more students are career ready once they have earned their high school degrees,” said KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling.
Schelling added that the generosity of association members has made the scholarship expansion possible. Much of that support came from gifts made to the foundation this past fall during an ambitious $10,000 matching challenge issued by American Fidelity Educational Services.
In preparation for the expansion, KSBA consulted with the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of CTE
on the nomination process and criteria and created an advisory committee to identify areas of need. Leslie Slaughter, executive adviser for KDE’s CTE office, served on the committee and offered input throughout the development phase, including providing resources on KDE’s industry certifications and high-demand career pathways. She also attended the foundation’s board meeting.
“Honored to spend time with these [KSBA] leaders today,” Slaughter tweeted following the meeting. “Their commitment to honoring the hard work of our KY CTE students will truly change lives and have a lasting impact!”
More information on KSBA’s First Degree CTE Scholarship, including nomination instructions, will be distributed to school districts in August. Additional details can be found at KSBAEF.org