3 Midwestern Region Institutions Each Receive $5,000 CollegeKeys Compact™ Innovation Award

Midwestern News

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College Board

The Stark Education Partnership in Canton, Ohio; Admission Possible in St. Paul, Minn.; and the University of Cincinnati have been honored as regional winners of the first CollegeKeys Compact™ Innovation Awards.

The winners have initiated innovative, effective best practices that help low-income students get ready, get into and get through college. Each winner receives a $5,000 award to be used to expand or sustain its program.

College Board President Gaston Caperton said, “The College Board’s CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award winners are to be congratulated for the difference they have made in the lives of students. Their innovative programs will serve as models so that others, by adopting these successful strategies, will be able to help more students successfully pursue a college education.”

Three exceptional initiatives — one each in the categories of Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting Through — received special recognition at the Midwestern Regional Forum, Feb. 21–22 in Chicago.

The Stark Education Partnership was honored in the Getting Ready category for creating the state’s largest high school–based dual credit program, Advancing College Opportunity. During the 2008-09 academic year, 40 high school teachers met the qualifications to be college adjuncts and were partnered with professors at six colleges and universities to teach 70 dual credit courses meeting full college standards for content and grading. More than 1,200 students were enrolled in dual credit courses in 2008-09, potentially saving families thousands of dollars in future tuition and bringing opportunity to many first-generation college students.

Admission Possible was awarded the prize for a Getting In innovation. The program helps promising low-income students by providing SAT test preparation services and admission and financial aid consulting. High school juniors in the program have shown marked improvement in test scores and have gained admission and earned scholarships to a variety of universities.

In the Getting Through category, the University of Cincinnati was recognized for its Gen-1 Theme House to help first-generation, Pell Grant–eligible students transition successfully from high school to college. The Gen-1 Theme House offers a structured living and learning environment as well as support services such as mentoring, individual and small-group tutoring, voluntary and mandatory study sessions, frequent monitoring of student academic performance and social activities, and professional counseling and guidance.

The Innovation Awards celebrate some of America’s most powerful efforts to improve the academic success of students from low-income backgrounds. Many of the best practices can be replicated, adapted and expanded in other education settings to promote policies and practices that have far-reaching impact for low-income students who need help to get ready for, get into and get through college.

The following Midwestern Regional Forum institutions are also commended by the College Board for effective initiatives within the region, and recognized for their continued efforts for low-income students:

  • Grand Valley State University, Michigan
  • Indiana University
  • Kenwood Academy High School, Illinois

The CollegeKeys Compact was launched in October 2007 following a two-year review of independent research, policy and practices in academic preparation and planning, admission, financial aid, and retention. A report issued by the College Board found that nearly one-half of all low- and moderate-income high school graduates who are qualified to go to college do not enroll in a four-year college program because of a combination of poor preparation, low expectations and financial barriers. The goal of Compact participants is to see that students from low-income backgrounds are represented in, and graduate from, colleges and universities at the same rate as their more affluent peers.

For more information about joining the CollegeKeys Compact, or to learn more about the CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards, please visit www.collegeboard.com/collegekeys.


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