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November 2, 2006
Section: Local News

Grants will give high school students exposure to college

CANTON Students in three counties will have the opportunity to experience college - for free - without leaving the high school classroom.
It's all because of a $225,000 grant awarded to the Stark County Educational Service Center this week by the state.

The Stark service center has partnered with Columbiana and Wayne counties and area colleges to secure the funding, thanks to a new law signed in June by Gov. Bob Taft. The Stark Educational Partnership and the Stark County Tech Prep Consortium also are partners.

"What we are looking to do is to enhance that transition from high school to college by using post-secondary options," said Mel Lioi, assistant superintendent of the Stark service center. "If kids have some exposure to college, they will be more likely pursue college after high school."

The Stark partnership is one of 16 throughout the state to receive the grants, which cover the cost of student tuition, books and faculty, allowing students throughout Ohio to earn free college credits while still in high school.

More than 3,000 Ohio high school students are expected to take advantage of the opportunities.

Lioi said the Stark partnership will begin training with participating colleges - the University of Akron; Kent State University; Malone, Mount Union and Stark State colleges; and Walsh University - and start its program this summer.

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