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3 Southern Institutions Win CollegeKeys Innovation Award
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Orange County Public Schools and Miami Dade College in Florida, as well as Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky, 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 for, 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 Southern Regional Forum Feb. 18–19 in Atlanta.
Orange County Public Schools was honored in the Getting Ready category for its Destination College: It’s Elementary! The program aims to provide every student, especially low-income and underrepresented students, with the maximum opportunity to achieve college readiness beginning at the elementary level. The program provides a framework for implementing research-based, high-yield strategies and is designed for implementation at the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade levels. It challenges each school to create a campuswide college-going culture, while focusing on specific learning strategies in order to promote college awareness and readiness. The focus strategies include organization skills, goal setting, self-advocacy, study skills, high-level questioning, oral language skills and cooperative learning.
Jefferson County Public Schools was awarded the prize for a Getting In innovation. Many of the district’s students understand the importance of continuing their education after high school but don’t have the knowledge, skills or support to complete all the paperwork required. The Close the Deal initiative utilizes partnerships among the school district, City of Louisville and Greater Louisville Inc. to help seniors in some of the schools with the lowest college-going rates. The yearlong project not only encourages seniors to apply to college or technical school, but also provides the support and assistance they need to get into and pay for college.
Miami Dade College (MDC) was honored in the Getting Through category for its Learning Outcomes Initiative. To ensure a level playing field for its predominantly low-income students, MDC revised its 25 general education goals and adopted a new focused set of 10 College Learning Outcomes that are broad and multidisciplinary, spanning all programs. The outcomes provide a foundation for learning at MDC that is consistent with today’s workforce, global and technological demands.
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 Southern 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:
- College Foundation Inc., North Carolina
- Education Services Foundation, Mississippi
- Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida
- Pitt Community College, North Carolina
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- William B. Murrah High School, Mississippi
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.