Wednesday, December 06, 2000

Groups coordinate college access plans

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A national network of college access programs will be announced today by the U.S. Department of Education, and several Ohio and Cincinnati-area agencies are big players in the project.

        The National Pathways to College Network is an attempt to coordinate state and regional efforts to increase the number of people going to college.

        College access programs help expose young children to college opportunities; and help older children and adults research schools, fill out applications and apply for financial aid.

        Richard Riley, U.S. secretary of education, today will detail plans for 14 education partners and six funding agencies to develop plans and a promotional campaign.

        Local participants include the private KnowledgeWorks Foundation, which is one of the funding agencies, and two college access programs - one in Brown County and one in Cincinnati.

        • KnowledgeWorks was organized two years ago as a $200 million educational foundation after the $117 million sale of its Student Loan Funding Resource Inc. to Sallie Mae.

        • In Brown County, College Now is run by Chatfield College. Officials there teach students at Fayetteville High School how to research colleges, apply to them and seek financial aid.

        • The Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and Cincinnati Public Schools provide a college information center and offer students field trips to campuses, and lessons on study skills and test taking.

        Harold Brown, KnowledgeWorks' program officer for college access initiatives, will serve on the national network's board of trustees.

        “The benefits Ohio will receive from this will come from all the research and field testing and new strategies to improve college going rates,” Mr. Brown said.

        Essentially, Mr. Brown said, what's already at work in Ohio through a state college access network is what the U.S. Department of Education wants to see happen nationally.

        Ohio already coordinates interaction among 14 college access programs, allowing providers to share ideas and data.


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