BCTC President speaks at Rotary Club

Published 3:15 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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With various programs and more, Bluegrass Community and Technical College – with its Winchester campus located at 2020 Rolling Hills Lane – has garnered a strong reputation in Clark County. 

Unbeknownst to some, it also has multiple locations elsewhere. 

On Wednesday, March 6, the man in charge stopped in town. 

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Greg Feeney, President of Bluegrass Community and Technical College, spoke to the Rotary Club of Winchester at the Winchester Country Club at 410 Boone Avenue. 

“I’m actually just finishing up my 26th year [at BCTC] and I’ve been in Kentucky since 1994,” said Feeney, an Illinois native. “I love these organizations and I appreciate what you continue to offer in your community.” 

Feeney was joined by BCTC Winchester Campus Director Bruce Manley and Student Development Specialist and Advisor Katie Reams, while community members including Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed and Deputy City Clerk Dianna Layne attended. 

For Feeney, who was hired to his position permanently in December 2003 following the previous president’s resignation, joining BCTC happened – as he described almost by accident. 

Having originally come to Kentucky studying both health and behavioral science – with a particular focus on compliance – Feeney was dedicated to research. 

One day, a chance encounter emerged. 

“I was walking down the hall [during] my last semester working on a dissertation and my chair said, ‘Feeney, they need somebody over at the community college to teach a class,’” Feeney said. “I said, ‘I don’t have time. I’m working on these grants’. And, she repeated it…it’s the best thing that ever happened to me and I’m so grateful I was walking down the hall at that particular moment.” 

After serving as a professor, Feeney later took on several roles including dean of academics, vice president of academics and workforce development, provost and more. 

While speaking to the members of the rotary club, Feeney highlighted several factors about BCTC. 

“The traditional model of education is we have all these degrees that we offer and if you want one of them, we start day one…and you go through those four years,” Feeney said. “What competency-based education does is recognize a skill that you are bringing to the table.” 

For example, if a person has welded for years yet is in need of a credential or degree, they can avoid first-year or other general studies based on what they already know. 

As is well known, the school also offers certain tuition-free programs, as well as dual credit opportunities for students from George Rogers Clark High School. 

Just as well, a number of scholarships – such as the Momentum Scholarship – are available. 

The Momentum Scholarship, which is available for full-time first-year students at BCTC who have successfully 12 dual credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.5, consists of a 50% tuition reduction not to exceed $2,500 per academic year. 

BCTC also proudly holds one particular distinction. 

“We are the number one transfer institution in the state of Kentucky. We transfer [students] to more four-year partners than any other community college in the state. We are the conduit for that,” Feeney said. “Not only do we get them there, by the time they’re there, they’re usually scholarship material.” 

Enhancing adult education and assisting those with a GED, or General Equivalency Degree, is also a hallmark of BCTC. 

While the school itself produces much, it’s always looking to connect. 

“We work really hard on partnering with our community,” Feeney said. “We have a nursing program here [in Winchester] now…We could not have done that if it hadn’t been for partnerships, and it’s partnerships that help us cross the finish line.” 

As BCTC continues to flourish in Winchester and elsewhere, Feeney and staff keep certain points in mind. 

“What hasn’t changed for me or the college is our connection to mission,” Feeney said. “What’s at the heart of our mission is we are an open access institution.”