Business Management / Entrepreneurship


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Students in the EKY Student Success Pipeline (EKYSSP) will have access to trajectory-shifting academic and wraparound supports to both achieve an associate degree and earn a stackable industry transition by Year 13. Through internship placements and pathway coursework, students will transition seamlessly to a high-opportunity local career, creating momentum for generational economic mobility. Through a collective impact, community-rooted approach, the EKYSSP will serve “near-miss” Appalachian students whose identities are currently underrepresented in high-demand local career fields.


The Kentucky design team is working to serve as a rural education accelerator proof point, ultimately providing more than 12,200 rural students across 35 schools in 12 districts access to flexible, credit-bearing general education coursework. This will be achieved through strengthening existing local dual credit and enrollment partnerships, as well as leveraging online programs. All students in the EKYSSP will have the opportunity to obtain an associate degree and stackable workforce credential by the end of their 13th year in healthcare, cybersecurity, or business management/entrepreneurship.

Organizations / Entities Represented on Design Team

Teach For America Appalachia

Harlan Independent Schools

The Floyd County School of Innovation

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Wiley Advancement Courses

Prosper Appalachia and the Prosper Appalachia Youth Advisory Council

The Thompson Scholar Foundation

The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky

Student Voice

I want to stay in my hometown more than anything, but I’m not sure what jobs are available or how to get the training I need to get one

- High School Sophomore


Recognizing the unique challenges faced by students in the region, the Kentucky design team is building out a robust set of supports to ensure student success in pathway opportunities. Near-peer mentors and coaches will support students through bi-weekly 1:1 check-ins, data monitoring, and a bi-annual evaluation led by the Prosper Appalachia Student Advisory Council that includes caregivers, teachers, and extracurricular supporters. Mentors and coaches will also create content and be featured in social media and marketing campaigns to raise awareness of and participation in EKYSSP engagement opportunities

The team plans to advocate for local workforce boards to fund new pathway course equipment and instructors in high-need fields. This effort will include building coalitions with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education.

The team will also advocate for waivers for expanded student access to scholarships, including expanding scholarship access and eligibility to additional grade levels through partnerships with the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education.

Kentucky: Accelerate ED Blueprint Presentation

The Kentucky design team's presentation at the Nov. 2022 Accelerate ED convening.