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Prospective college students of all ages, from elementary school to adults, attended the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Super Sunday events throughout the state on February 27. The focus of Super Sunday was to educate African-American students and their families about the importance of a college education, in an effort to increase the number of African-American students enrolling in college. KCTCS advocates were on hand at each college fair site to assist with admissions, financial aid and more.

More than 3,000 prospective students and their families attended the 23 statewide events, sponsored by KCTCS and each of its 16 colleges. The events were community focused, with each church and college varying their schedule and agenda to accommodate participants. Governor Steve Beshear had earlier proclaimed February 27, 2011 as the Kentucky Community and Technical College Super Sunday Day in Kentucky.

On Super Sunday, KCTCS President Michael B. McCall spoke at the First Baptist Church in Versailles and said, We are excited about partnering with African-American churches because we know churches like First Baptist are a vital part of the community and have the ability to move mountains and create tremendous change.

Kentuckians gathered throughout the state to partake in Super Sunday events.

In Versailles, more than 125 people attended a church service and subsequent college fair. During the college fair in the church basement, a second-grader listened aptly while college coursework options were explained, while a woman in her 50s was thrilled to learn college was still a viable option. Potential students and their parents attended two financial aid workshops to find out how they could make college a reality.

Meanwhile, in Elizabethtown, more than 150 people attended a Super Sunday event at the local community center, with churches invited from the 11-county region serving the college. After a mid-day meal, students of all ages listened to church and college leaders talk about post high school educational options. It inspired some students to consider returning to college, while others discovered for the first time that college could be a viable option.

In Hopkinsville, leaders of seven area churches led the program attended by more than 80 people. In Owensboro, there were more than 400 prospective students and family members, with booths featuring service programs and information on financial aid, enrollment and other pertinent topics.

At Gateway Community and Technical College (GCTC), more than 150 people attended a morning church service and, afterward, at the colleges urban center. At the college fair, three church pastors and GCTC President Edward Hughes spoke about the importance of education and how a person is never too young or too old to think about college. Dancers from a local church, as well as an adult and a childrens choir, performed at the college fair.

Throughout the state, from the western edge at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, north to GCTC in Covington, and south to Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges event in Lynch, focused on varied events to attract potential students and their families and to encourage them to obtain a college education.

Now more than at any other time in the history of mankind, higher education is the power and key to financial success. But the path to college is not a solitary journey. Not a single college graduate in this congregation could have completed their educational destination if they had attempted to take the journey alone, Dr. McCall told the congregation at First Baptist in Versailles. The college journey requires knowledgeable and wise teachers, supportive family and friends, and partners like First Baptist and KCTCS to provide lifelines and resources.

Higher education begins at KCTCS for most Kentuckians, and so it is a vital part of the KCTCS mission to increase the educational opportunities for people of color, including African-Americans and Latinos. Super Sunday is a statewide initiative intended to increase the college-going rate of students of color.

We want students to knowYes, You Can Go to College. Yes, You Can Get a College Degree. And Yes, You Can Have a High Paying Job, Dr. McCall said to the Woodford County congregation at First Baptist. This Super Sunday event is just the beginning of what we believe will be a community-wide initiative to raise the college going rates in this area.

This event is patterned after a highly successful program at California State University, now in its sixth year, which is credited with substantially increasing the college-going rate of African-American students in California.