American College of Technology continues to assist workers impacted by Energizer Layoffs in Maryville.

American College of Technology continues to assist workers impacted by Energizer Layoffs in Maryville.

St. Joseph, Mo. – ACOT is holding a Microsoft Office training course for individuals impacted by last year’s Energizer Factory shutdown in Maryville.

“We are providing those employees affected by the recent job loss a training program to learn new tools that could provide some insight into the technology industry,” Richard Dodson ACOT Military Education Executive Director said.

The course will run February 25th, 26th, and 27th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Maryville Community Center located at 1407 N. Country Club Road in Maryville.

Around 20 participants have signed up to take advantage of the program.  The three day training will include a brief history of technology and software, interactive sessions on Microsoft Word 2013, and Microsoft Excel 2013.

“The hope is to give participants a new set of skills that could boost their resume as they continue to search for a new position,” Dodson said.

In the past 13 years ACOT has worked with employees from several layoffs. Usually Federal and State dollars are made available to workers who have been let go in a situation like this. Funding is there to provide new education to workers so they can advance their skillset to find gainful employment.  Last year ACOT extended a scholarship to Energizer workers looking to go back to school to try and fill the gap in funding to prevent the need to borrow or pay out of pocket for retraining.

“When they’re responding to being laid off the last thing we want to do is add another expense,” Lute Atieh, ACOT Director of Operations said. “We plan to continue to help point them in the right direction.  If they are looking for training we will send them to the right places and try to answer the questions that we know.”

The 3-day Microsoft Office training is just another way for the school to try and assist as technology continues to change in the work environment.

To learn more about ACOT programs call (800)-804-1388 or check us out online at
American College of Technology is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council. ACOT is also certified by the Missouri Department of Higher Education to operate in the state of Missouri.


ACOT Launches New Degrees

ACOT Launches New Degrees

Students now have more options at American College of Technology with the launch of a new Bachelor’s degree and three new Master’s degrees.

A Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice was just recently launched for student enrollment. This comes in addition to the school’s current Associate’s in Criminal Justice. Students are now able to complete the Associate’s and move on to the Bachelors. This is called the 2+2 program. Students with an Associates from another school can also enroll in the last 2 years of a Bachelors as well. This will help to promote higher completion rates and will allow a student to gain a credential within 2-years, as they work to gain their Bachelor’s degree.

Also added to the list of programs available include, an MBA with a Concentration in Marketing and Social Media, one with a Technology Management Concentration and an MBA with a Global Business Concentration.

“The more specific concentrations make our MBA stand out a bit more from the rest,” Lute Atieh, ACOT Chief Operations officer said.The programs were developed based on a need seen in the workforce. “We gather market information and gauge the interest of our graduates,” Atieh said. “We also look at job trends.”

Several other programs are currently in the works for 2014.
In 2013 the most popular programs at ACOT that saw a large number of student enrollment included Business Administration and Information Technology, Health Information Technology and Network Information and Information Security.

The school also gained University status approval this past week and will become American Business and Technology University starting April 2nd.

To learn more about ACOT programs call (800)-804-1388 or check us out online at
American College of Technology is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council. ACOT is also certified by the Missouri Department of Higher Education to operate in the state of Missouri.

American College of Technology Hires Public Relations & Community Outreach Director

ACOT has named Nadia Thacker as its new Public Relations and Community Outreach Director.  Thacker comes to ACOT after working for News-Press & Gazette Company for more than 5 years.  She is leaving Fox 26 after spending the past two years as the station’s weekend weather specialist and weekday reporter.

2014-02-17 09.40.36“We’re excited to have her join our team here at ACOT,” Chief Operations Officer, Lute Atieh said. “We have big things in the works for 2014 that will benefit not only our students but the St. Joseph and surrounding community.  Because of her ties to the community Nadia will be able to help us facilitate our new venture as we prepare to expand our school once more.”

“I am sad to be leaving my role with Fox but am looking forward to huge changes to come with ACOT and the opportunities I will be given to impact the community,” Thacker said.

In 2001 ACOT started up in St. Joseph offering online retraining services.  The college has grown to offer technical diplomas and bachelor’s degrees. In January a Masters of Business Administration program was officially launched with specialized fields of study. Over the past two years the college has seen significant growth in its population and staff.  Because of a large growth in its student population ACOT had to hire on an additional 20 employees in 2013 adding an estimated additional $1.5 million dollars annually to the St. Joseph Economy.  Because of the large growth, ACOT’s current office located at 2700 N. Belt Highway above Coldwell Banker began to shrink.  So last year the school purchased the Wyeth Mansion on St. Maartens Drive, behind the Metro Chamber.  Renovations are currently underway but a move-in date will be coming soon.

“In the past we’ve been a 100% online school.  But having a physical campus will allow us to host more programs not only for our students but also for the community,” Thacker said. “I am looking forward to stepping into my new shoes at ACOT and excited to be in on the ground level of many wonderful things to come.”

Thacker will officially start in her new role at ACOT Monday, February 17th.

American College of Technology is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council. ACOT is also certified by the Missouri Department of Higher Education to operate in the state of Missouri.

American College of Technology to talk funding and re-training options for workers after Energizer shutdown.

American College of Technology is holding a seminar to talk about retraining programs, scholarships and grants available to individuals who have been impacted by Energizer layoffs. The seminar will be held Friday January, 24th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Holiday Inn located at 2929 S. Main St., Maryville, Mo.

“We understand the struggle of retraining after a long career in a particular field,” ACOT Chief Operations Officer, Lute Atieh said. “We can help you add updated skills to your resume including training on the latest software.”

ACOT recommends shot-term training for this type of situation.  1-2 year programs either a certificate or associates degree.  Some of the courses provided by ACOT include: Computer Programming and Systems Design, Network Administration and Information Security, Business Administration and Information Security, Criminal Justice, and Health Information Technology.

ACOT first started assisting Energizer workers in 2013 shortly after the layoffs were announced.  Since the college was founded in 2001 it has helped thousands looking for short-term career retraining, including more than 100 former TWA employees.

“We’ll be able to answer questions about funding, grants, and how to get answers about programs,” Atieh said. “Anything they’re looking for to prepare them for a conversation with their case worker about the programs.”

ACOT classes are all 100% online so students don’t have to travel to attend classes or if they find another job elsewhere they don’t have to drop out to complete their education. Enrollments at ACOT are held 8 times a year. If you can’t make it out to Friday’s informational session or just want to learn more you can always check us out online at or call (816)-279-7000.

Congress Set to Vote to Make It Easier for Vets to Take Advantage of Retraining Program

In 2011, President Barak Obama signed the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, an effort designed to help veterans make a successful transition into a tough job market. The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, known as VRAP, is an outgrowth of that legislation. VRAP is a GI program that gives unemployed veterans ages 35-60 educational benefits to help them learn new skills for high demand jobs. The program is due to expire on March 31, 2014 but Congress may decide to extend that deadline until June 30, 2014 so that more vets have the opportunity to participate.The idea of going back to school and entering a classroom may seem a bit frightening at first, but the program has already proven to be a boon to many who decided to brave the challenge. One vet who praises VRAP had spent 30 years managing a body shop when a stroke confronted him with the need to make a change. The VRAP program allowed him to choose a career that interested him and paid for a full year of training. The VA funds were direct deposited into his account and made it possible for him to go to school without missing payments on his existing bills.The VRAP program offers up to $1,573 per month in educational benefits and will pay up to $17,600 in total. These benefits are eligible for any VA-approved educational program through a technical school or community college. All VRAP funds are directed toward training in high-demand occupations. Veterans may earn an Associate’s degree, a Certificate or a Non-College degree that will prepare them for any of the outlined high-demand career fields.The American College of Technology is fully VA-approved and VRAP-ready. Veterans who do not live near a community college or technical school or who are looking for the convenience of at-home learning will find that American College of Technology (ACOT) is the perfect fit for them. The school offers a wide range of studies that conform to VRAP guidelines and makes taking classes as easy as logging onto a computer. All programs are fully online and user-friendly.Servicemen and women who are currently unemployed but who are interested in acquiring the skills needed to re-enter the workforce are ideally suited for VRAP. The program is available to 99,000 veterans and so far 77,000 have already taken advantage of the benefits. The move to try and extend the enrollment deadline demonstrates the success of the program and the interest at the highest levels to promote the success of U.S. vets.Veterans make terrific employees and the American College of Technology (ACOT) wants to help give veterans the skills they need to become even more desirable in a dynamic economy.  Vets who enroll soon will have time to take full advantage of these great benefits before it is too late.Change is always a little daunting, but ACOT makes going back to school as simple and rewarding as possible. Don’t hesitate. Check out the courses and benefits while the opportunity still exists to go back to school with VRAP benefits. Find out how soon you could be enjoying a satisfying, well-paying career.

By Lute Atieh