State Education Heavy Hitters Put Their Weight Behind A College Awareness Program

January 18, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. The West Virginia Board of Education is encouraging further development of a pilot project to boost the state’s college-going and retention rates. The West Department of Education, Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education have joined forces to create the College for West Virginians- Education Go Get It Campaign.  

“This is another way that we are trying to get more students to pursue post secondary education,” said Board President Barbara Fish. “We know that students who continue their education beyond high school are better prepared to enter the workforce.”  

College for West Virginians – Education Go Get It is being piloted in the north-central part of the state. The campaign will offer printed materials, video spots and a website, .  

The campaign also involves Go Centers, to be operated by a select group of trained high school students called the G-Force. Earlier this month, more than 200 students from high schools across the state received training on leadership and college preparation skills. These students are expected to go back to their schools and open Go Centers. The Go Centers will be a one-stop-shop for college resources.  

“This is all about positive peer pressure,” said Fish. “Students are more likely to listen to their friends than an adult.”  

The West Virginia Department of Education’s Gear Up program falls directly in line with College for West Virginians-Education Go Get It. Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) ensures all students every opportunity to be academically and financially prepared for postsecondary education, including technical school, community college, or four-year college. GEAR UP raises the standards of academic achievement for all students, and develops effective and enduring alliances among schools, colleges, students, parents and government.  

“College for West Virginians is not replacing any successful, existing programs but instead organizing all of the resources and exposing students to a wealth of information and services such as Gear UP, West Virginia Clearinghouse, PROMISE and West Virginia Edge,” said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart.  

For more information about College for West Virginians, contact the West Virginia Department of Education at 304 558-2699.

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