Big Sandy Community and Technical College, with its headquarters in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, is one of 16 two-year, open-admissions colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It was created in 2003 from the consolidation of Prestonsburg Community College and Mayo Technical College
Big Sandy Community and Technical College provides accessible quality educational opportunities for student success, promotes economic growth and enhances the quality of life of its constituents.
As the region’s premier community and technical college, Big Sandy Community and Technical College will continue to be recognized as the first choice for higher education; academic achievement; cultural enrichment; student success; and community, workforce and economic development.
Prestonsburg was the first established town of Eastern Kentucky and is located in the heart of Appalachia. Known as The Star City of Eastern Kentucky, Prestonsburg is strategically located at the hub of 5 major highways, including US 23 North, US 23 South, KY Route 80, KY Route 3, and KY Route 114 (Mountain Parkway).
In addition to being the central hub for the region, the star also represents the vast amount of entertainment in Prestonsburg, including the Mountain Arts Center featuring national headliners and The Kentucky Opry, Jenny Wiley Theater which has been providing “magic under the stars,” for decades with its classic Broadway type shows, and weekly local musical acts. StoneCrest Golf Course, which was built on a reclaimed mountain top, puts you as close to the stars as you can get with a 50-mile radius view. An extra addition to a galaxy of fun is the East Kentucky Science Center & Planetarium with its exhibits, laser shows, and 40-foot domed planetarium. For those who prefer getting up close and personal to nature, Prestonsburg’s Sugar Camp Mountain trails offer 30+ miles of mountain biking and hiking, in addition to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Dewey Lake, and the Levisa Fork River.
In October of 1996, the MAC hosted its grand opening and the music and cultural fabric of Eastern Kentucky has not been the same since. This beautiful facility houses a 1,047 seat theatre, several large meeting rooms, a commercial recording studio, an art gallery, an arts education room, and several individual instruction practice rooms. In addition, the MAC’s Arts Education Department provides individual instruction in piano, voice, violin/fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and visual arts as well as group instruction in piano and voice.
With its huge, interactive exhibit hall, planetarium and traveling NASA exhibits, space pioneers young and old can explore galaxies beyond the Milky Way at the East Kentucky Science Center. The mind-bending 40-foot star dome plus projection system is only one of two dozen existing on planet Earth. A regular schedule of laser light shows set to popular music like Pink Floyd and The Beatles is out of this world.
The East Kentucky Science Center in conjunction with the Computer and Aided Drafting and Design Department at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, play key roles in the development and design of the physical “Appy”, “Star City” and “Community Arts and Entertainment” Awards.
For years, The Country Music Highway stars have had to leave the area to practice their art and learn about the technical and production side of the industry. These great stars, from Loretta Lynn to Chris Stapleton, have recorded songs that have told the story of the culture and history of Eastern Kentucky. Their success has been so great that U.S. 23 has been named “The Country Music Highway.”
As a non-profit, CMH23, has been developed to help promote the stars of the future while educating individuals about the process of recording!
The goal is to have a one-stopshop highlighting the rich history and the brilliant future of the Highway’s music and culture that extends from the Ohio border to the Virginia border. CMH23 promotes programming that fuels education about, and records, our heritage and culture. With the help of CMH23, our stars and future stars will have a platform to tell the world the story of The Country Music Highway and more importantly, these stars will be exposed to Nashville, America, and the world right here at home on The Country Music Highway!
Currently, Eastern Kentucky gets about five percent of the state’s total tourism dollars. Our goal is to improve that number by using education, our stars of the highway, as well as our future stars to tell the amazing story of Appalachia, Eastern Kentucky, and The Country Music Highway.