Pathfinder Den | OCTC

Pathfinder Den

The Pathfinder Den is located on the Lower Level of the Campus Center Building, Room 100;  Main Campus, 4800 New Hartford Road, Owensboro, KY 

The Pathfinder Den offers assistance with academic advising, class registration, academic support through our Success Coaches, assistance with exploring career options, and help with transfer plans to a four year college/university. 

Pathfinder Den

Meeting with an academic advisor is extremely important to ensure you are taking the best classes toward your academic and career goals.  Advisors are assigned to students based on their academic plan in our Student Self Service system.  

If you think your major is listed incorrectly in your student information talk to one of our advisors for assistance or email us at 

Registration for Summer and Fall classes begins on March 1st (each spring).

Registration for the Spring Semester begins on October 1st (each fall).

Check  your "Student Center" in your Student Self-Service (through MY Path) to see who your official advisor is.  If you need help feel free to email us at or call us at 270-686-4683.

Appointments are recommended for meeting with your advisor.  The Pathfinder Den can schedule a meeting with you in these formats:

  • In-person
  • Phone call
  • Virtual meeting (Microsoft Teams).

Success coaches will support you in navigating your academic needs, as well providing you the tools to be successful at OCTC!  We know there is more to you than being a “student” – you have a number of roles, responsibilities, and goals outside of school that are equally important to your college journey.  Our success coach team can assist you with important issues related to your college experience by focusing on your individual needs and goals.  Coaching sessions can help you adjust to the challenges of higher education, gain a better understanding of campus resources, and develop plans for academic and social development.


What are the benefits of working with a success coach?

Coaches will help you develop an individualized plan for academic, professional, and personal success.  The purpose of this plan is to:

  • Set informed goals for your success
  • Create concrete action steps which will identify the specific support services available to assist you
  • Allow for continued discussion about your progress

Success coaches can also help you with the following:

  • Discovering what your goals and interests are inside and outside of school
  • Developing time management strategies
  • Identifying and understanding campus resources
  • Enhancing organizational skills
  • Developing learning strategies

To reach out to a success coach, contact



If your career goal includes the possibility of a four-year /bachelor's degree we can help! The sooner you meet with an advisor to discuss your long term goals the better prepared you will be.  

Most four-year majors have classes/pre-requisites that you need to take before you transfer to the university.  We can help you determine the best classes for your Associate of Arts or Science at OCTC that will also satisfy requirements for your bachelor's degree.  Every university is a little different in what they require; let us help you plan for your four-year college and major.

During the Fall and Spring semesters many area universities are available for individual appointments. They can provide you information on their college, majors, transfer admissions, scholarships, and more.  Many of these transfer  counselors can review your coursework at OCTC and let you know how your classes will transfer to your particular major. 

See this link for detailed information on area colleges and their Transfer Services:

Four Year College Transfer Information

If you are not sure of your major or career you are NOT alone!  We can help; most students will change their mind at least one time. The sooner you know what career area interests you the sooner we can assist you with your long term goals. 

Contact for help with career planning. Katie will schedule an individual appointment with you. 

We use the following licensed career website, Sigi 3. Please contact Katie directly for an appointment and/or access to this career site. 

This site has hundreds of job titles and career information.  They also have detailed assessments on:

  • Interests
  • Work Values
  • Personality Traits
  • Skills 

By completing the assessments you will see careers that may be good options for you based on the above areas.   

Pathfinder Pantry

Located on the lower level of the Campus Center (CC 107), the Pathfinder Pantry is open to any OCTC student experiencing food insecurity or hunger.  There are no qualifications for access to the pantry other than being an OCTC student. 

What will you find at the Pathfinder Pantry?

  • Multi-use items:  Pasta, Sauce, Condiments, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Rice, Beans, Cereal
  • Single-use items:  Tuna, Ramen, Canned Vegetables, Mac N Cheese, Instant Sides
  • Ready to Eat:  Apple Sauce, Fruit Cups, Crackers, Fruit Snacks, Granola Bars
  • Cool Zone:  Rotating Cold and Perishable Foods
  • Frozen Zone:  Individual Meals, Meat, Veggies
  • Personal Care:  Shampoo, Deodorant, Dental Essentials, Feminine Products, Skin Care

Donations and Ways to Help

We accept:

  • Non-perishable canned and boxed foods
  • New/Unopened personal care and hygiene products

We use monetary donations to keep our shelves full.  If you are interested in making a monetary donation, please contact Cadie Underwood in our OCTC Foundation ( or 270-686-4663) and she’ll be happy to speak with you!



Katie BallardKatie Ballard: Transfer Advisor and Career Counselor 

Graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1983 (BA in Psychology; minor in Theatre) and 1985 (Master of Arts in Higher Education/ Student Personnel Services).

Born in Taiwan, grew up in Eastern Kentucky in a small town called London, population 4006!  I love to read, drink coffee, watch TV with my dog on my lap. I have worked at OCTC for 20 years and love helping guide students through the college process and discovering their career passions!

Maurice Calhoun: Success Coach for the Allied Health Programs

Responsible for promoting a positive and successful learning experience for students pursuing majors, advising, providing academic and transitional support, and creating partnerships.

Graduated with a bachelors from the University of Louisvile in 2016 and a Masters from Western Kentucky University in 2021.

I enjoy playing Madden and 2k on my PS5, spending time with family and his new daughter, and watching my nephew play football and baseball.

Victoria Brown: Success Coach for Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation Programs

Graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2019 with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication and Psychology and with an Associate Arts from SKYCTC in 2018.

Some of my favorite things to do when I am not at work include spending time with my husband and animals, reading, dancing, painting, and traveling.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you.

Kaye Brown: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Western Kentucky University with a Master of Arts. 

I have been a Professor of English since 2006 (part-time since 1994) and teach composition classes, as well as, Introduction to Holocaust Literature and Film, Introduction to Native American Literature (and a little film).

I am the Co-chair of the Common Reading program and coordinator for the Study Abroad program.

While I grew up here in Owensboro, I have lived in Texas, California, Washington state, and Virginia (near Washington D.C.) as a military spouse with my husband of 40 years. I am also known as, “KK,” to the two cutest grandchildren on the planet.

Connie Ford: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from the Unversity of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Music Education and from Indiana University with a Master and Doctor of Music Education

I am a Professor of Music at OCTC and teach a variety of courses, including private voice instruction, and I conduct the college's OCTC Chorus.

Misty Gish: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from Murray State University in 2001 with a Master of Science in Biology.

I teach Anatomy & Physiology and Intro to Biology. I have also taught: Intro to Biology Lab, Microbes and Society, Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology, Intro to Biotechnology and Biotechnology Techniques.  I am also Biology discipline coordinator.

My hobbies include hiking  and photography. I have two kids in college. I live with my husband and two dogs (Black Lab named Bruce Wayne and Aussiedoodle named Jasper), and my boys when they are not away at school.

Casey Hamilton: Faculty Advisor

Graduted from Brescia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary & Middle School Grades Education, from Western Kentucky University with a Master of Arts in School Counseling, and from University of Tennessee Martin with a Rank 1 in School Administratoin and Supervision.

I am the Teached Education Program Coordinator at OCTC and also teach Psychology.

My passion is building relationships with my students and continuing those relationships long after they leave OCTC, so I can see them get their first teaching job and serve as a resource for them long after they are in my classes.

Denise Hanes: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1983 and a PhD in Food Chemistry in 1995. 

I teach chemistry lecture and labs.  I was an AmeriCorps Volunteer where I was responsible for the Indiana Reading Corps at University of Evansville.  U of E students went to local schools to help K - 3rd graders bring up their reading levels.  

Nathan Hirtz: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from Southeast Missouri State Univeristy in 2014 with a with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education and Mathematics, from Murray State in 2006 with a Master of Science in Mathematics, from University of Illinois in 2009 with a Master of Science in Statistics, and from the University of Illinois post 2009 with additional graduate coursework beyond Master's Level

​I am an Instructor of Mathematics and Statistics here at OCTC, and I also work as a faculty advisor in the Pathfinder Den to our students pursuing an Associate in Science degree.

​I love trivia and puzzles.  I also enjoy a variety of video games (and board games when my friends and I get together).  I was valedictorian of my high school class when I was 16, and graduated with two bachelor's degrees before I was 21.  My 16th and 21st birthdays both fell on Father's Day.  I can solve a Rubik's Cube in under two minutes.

Nathan Kellen: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from the University of Connecticut with a PhD in Philosophy

I am the philosophy instructor here at OCTC. I teach a variety of different philosophy courses, including Intro to Philosophy, Ethics and Medical Ethics. I'm originally from Minnesota, and my favorite animal is the red panda. I even have a red panda tattoo.

Susan Swanson: Faculty Advisor

Graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication in 2007 and a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition.

I’m a Professor of English at OCTC, teaching English I and II, Introduction to Women’s Literature, and FYE. I love to travel, especially abroad, and also enjoy hiking, yoga, and reading really long novels.