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Co-Sponsored by the WV Department of Education and the WV Higher Education Policy Commission Charleston, WV August 2-3, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Co-Sponsored by the WV Department of Education and the WV Higher Education Policy Commission Charleston, WV August 2-3, 2011."— Presentation transcript:


2 Co-Sponsored by the WV Department of Education and the WV Higher Education Policy Commission Charleston, WV August 2-3, 2011

3 West Virginia Access Center for Higher Education (WVACHE) Sarita A. Rhonemus, Ph.D. Bluefield State College WVACHE Executive Director AHE Network Coordinator/Consultant Educational Opportunity Center Director Interim Director Office of Scholarly Research and Sponsored Programs

4 What Brings You Here Today?

5 What You Will Learn Today…  Overview and Brief History of WVACHE  Establishment and Expansion of Appalachian Higher Education Network  Barriers to Postsecondary Education  The Model Program Ideas that Work  Comments from WVACHE Grantees Resources to Promote Postsecondary Awareness Recommended Reading

6 The purpose of the West Virginia Access Center for Higher Education (WVACHE) is to encourage and assist high-school students to continue their education by enrolling in postsecondary education. Overview of WVACHE

7 Aligned with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to increase access to postsecondary education for West Virginia students, WVACHE is based on a successful model developed for Appalachian Ohio. The WVACHE has pursued its mission by providing two-year “Access Project” grants to Public high schools in West Virginia on a competitive basis. These Access Projects implement activities that encourage students to consider college (whether a two- or four-year degree program), explore careers, and find financial aid to help them pursue higher education. Overview of WVACHE

8 Overview of WVACHE, cont.  The WVACHE focuses on future higher-education access efforts based on a significant study called Appalachian Access and Success Significant disparities between the proportion of the population who sees the need for, and aspires to, higher education versus the number actually participating Initial and subsequent studies can be found at

9 Overview of WVACHE, cont.  Founded in 1998 with assistance from the Appalachian Regional Commission as the first replication of the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education Model Program A program of Bluefield State College Incorporated in 2000 and earned 501 (c)(3) status as a non-profit

10 Appalachian Higher Education Network Service Area

11 West Virginia Educational Needs Index Source:

12 Why Don’t They Go? You already know the answers.

13 Barriers Keeping Our Students from Pursuing Post- Secondary Education Why Don’t They Go?  Lack of information; want to go but don’t know how to go  Lack of role models due to low educational attainment in the family  No knowledge of financial aid and the process  Education not a priority  Lack an understanding of the importance of an education and how it connects to quality of life  Fear of the unknown/failure  Need immediate gratification  Unable to set long term goals and think strategically about the future  Perceived high cost of college  Thinking not smart enough  Low self esteem  Lack of encouragement  Unexpected pregnancy  Drug and alcohol addiction

14 Making it real…

15 The Suitcase Story

16 CAVE Dwellers C C olleagues A A gainst V V irtually E E verything

17 Student Success What are those things that would make any student jump for joy at school?

18 Improving Student Success for All  What should schools be doing?  Establish a plan… Work with all students to  Explore career interests  Inform about postsecondary education  Build self-esteem and self-confidence

19 WVACHE Suitcase  Campus visits  Parental involvement  College and career fairs  Motivational speeches by college students  Teacher/staff visits to schools/industry  Business alliances and partnerships  Mentoring relationships

20 WVACHE Suitcase  Guest speakers from community  Assigned essays that inform students of college costs, programs, and economic advantages  Displays in common area of school with names of students who have applied to college  Social media activities that connect students to higher education  Teacher diplomas displayed outside of classroom door  College sweatshirt day

21 Other Ideas that Work  Career Exposition  Junior Pennant Designs  Senior Campus Visit  Graduate Day  ACT Preparation Course  Financial Aid Evening Event  Senior Recognition  College Goal Sunday  College Application Week 

22 Seriously think about what it would take to become a community working together to solve a community problem…

23 Engaging All Leaders…

24 Hollowing Out the Middle…

25 Failure is NOT an Option…

26 The Influence of Teachers

27 Additional Reading  The Collective Leadership Storybook: Weaving Strong Communities. Karma Ruder, Lead Editor  The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore, Author

28 Take Away…  Focus should be on Building confidence and self-esteem for all students, not just a select few Helping students and parents explore college opportunities and career possibilities Demystifying the college experience

29 Bulletin Board Ideas








37 Circle, Square, Triangle A question going around in my head? Something that squares with my beliefs and my work? Three important points to remember. Used with permission from the Center for Evidence-Based Education, 609-952-2205

38 Resources  College Foundation of West Virginia and College Goal Sunday WV College Foundation of West Virginia and College Goal Sunday WV  Vocational Information Center Site Map Vocational Information Center Site Map  College Toolkit College Toolkit  Know How to Go Know How to Go  College Navigator College Navigator

39 Questions and Answers

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