WSCC Student Chosen for State Student Advisory Board

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Washington State Community College student Michael Krichten was recently chosen to serve with the Ohio Student Education Policy Institute for 2012. The Student Institute is an advisory board, open to all Ohio colleges and universities, and made up of college students. It is the first of its kind to provide those students with an exclusive opportunity to present their voice to an audience of educational leaders and policymakers.

michael krichtenThis is the first year a Washington State student has applied for and was successfully chosen to participate in the Student Education Policy Institute. Additionally, Washington State is only the second community college to become involved with the Institute. Other Ohio colleges and universities with Institute student members include: The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Columbus State Community College, Ohio University, and the University of Akron.

Michael Krichten, student president of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) academic honor society, was encouraged earlier this year to apply for a seat with the Institute by PTK Faculty Advisor Brad Merritt. "I had worked hard on organizing WSCC's Constitution Day debate," says Krichten. "So, Professor Merritt suggested I apply for a position with the Student Education Policy Institute." Essay-writing was part of the Institute's application process. Krichten adds that this is the first time Washington State will be involved with the Institute.

An Electrical Engineering major, Krichten says he was not previously interested in political science, but after his participation with Constitution Day and PTK, is intrigued with learning more about policy making. "I'm excited about this opportunity to see policy making firsthand. The ideas and dialogue within the Institute will hopefully be able to do some good and help fellow college students' experiences."

The Ohio Student Education Policy Institute is organized by the Ohio College Access Network (OCAN) and is in its' second year. Students selected to serve with the Institute, currently around 35 members, meet several times over the winter months and early spring, in order to draft a policy or legislative idea(s) to present to the state legislature. "These policies have a general goal of increasing and improving access for current or potential students to secondary education in Ohio," says Krichten.

This past April, the inaugural Institute presented research and personal experiences to the Senate Finance Committee amidst budget discussions for 2012-13. These included recommendations on dual enrollment, teacher preparation, and a model for learning communities on college campuses across the state.

"We'll begin to meet this January and split into several teams to brainstorm for ideas," explains Krichten. "Those ideas will include the ability of community members to receive a college education, as well as how to prepare incoming students for college-level courses."

He says they will be meeting with local policymakers, such as 93rd District Representative Andy Thompson, to receive consultations on their ideas and how to craft those ideas into legislation to present to the Ohio House and Senate.


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