Sydney Linton is a KSU student from Frankfort. She said she wasn’t aware of the academic community at the college when she was growing up. However, she said when she started her college education, she quickly found a new love for the school and seeking a career.
“Once I came and walked on the campus, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s its little world,”’ Linton said.
She originally planned to pursue cosmetology but changed directions toward agriculture after working part time for Wilson’s Nurseries & Plant Co. while in school.
Before coming to KSU, she attended KCTCS, Kentucky’s two-year community and technical college. That’s where Linton found support and a steady path to progress further in her higher-learning journey.
“It’s like a little comfort blanket; I have my adviser calling me, asking me, ‘Hey, are you okay with your classes?’” Linton said.
Now, the two colleges are coming together to form an “innovative alliance.”
Presidents of both colleges signed an agreement to highlight goals such as career-based curriculum and streamlining transfers. Students who complete their time at KCTCS can transfer credits to KSU and earn a four-year degree.
The new partnership also includes scholarship and financial aid help for students at both schools.
Herman Walston, a professor and member of KSU’s board of regents, said this could be the school’s first partnership that maximizes every area of academics.
“For student success, as they move smoothly from two-year programs to Kentucky State University to obtain a B.S. degree, or even stay for their master’s or doctoral degree,” Walston said.
Koffi Akakpo is KSU’s president and has been the leader of both schools. He was introduced as KSU's 19th president this year. He was previously the president at KCTCS.
He said Linton is one example of how they plan to continue helping students at KSU.
“She tried so many other things before finding her niche. Now she’s thriving, so I think this is going to open doors for students to have many options,” Akakpo said.
Linton said that her goal is to take what she learns in school back to her community and add to its workforce in an environmentally helpful way.
“I love Frankfort and I’ve lived here all my life, and I would love to make agriculture better just throughout Frankfort [and the Bluegrass],” she said.