MARIETTA, OH (September 20, 2017) – Washington State Community College (WSCC) was presented with a check for $8,000 as a contribution from the AT&T Foundation on Tuesday, September 19. The contribution supports student success through the continuation of the College Ready Project coordinated through WSCC in partnership with the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center (OVESC) which serves the schools in Guernsey, Monroe, Noble and Washington Counties. In addition to the districts served by the OVESC, Morgan Local Schools are also participating in the project. In total, AT&T has contributed $16,000 to the College Ready Project since 2015.
The College Ready Project focuses on the issues that exist with college preparation. Each year a large number of rising seniors test into developmental courses when they begin college. These courses are designed to help them gain skills they missed in high school classes that are necessary to succeed in college-level math and/or English courses. Oftentimes these developmental courses also delay graduation, cost additional money, and do not count towards a degree. By providing those essential skills to students while they are still in high school, students will save both time and money once they start their college career.
“The Student Readiness Collaborative has a great opportunity for success because it focuses on the group of students who are almost, but not quite, college ready,” explained WSCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Nutter. “It provides them with additional support for learning and helps them close their learning gap before graduating from high school. We know that students who start college without needing remediation in math and English have a much greater retention and graduation rate than students who arrive without that level of preparation.”
With the assistance of the funds, the College Ready Project will help high school teachers and college faculty work collaboratively to identify the math and English skills that students lack when they reach college. Instructors will then build those missing skills into their high school classes. High school students will be paired with mentors for English and math tutoring. At the same time, the mentors will also work with students to understand real-world expectations, explore career opportunities and prepare a post-graduation career plan to reach their career goals.
“I’m encouraged by the great work of this program and its participants,” said Congressman Bill Johnson. “Educational programs like these ensure that students graduate from high school prepared for higher education leading to success in college, careers, and life.”
The focus of the project will be centered on improving the college readiness of the middle-quartile students. These are students who are close to being assessed as college ready. These students are often at a disadvantage due to a lack of resources or programming available to assist them. “One member of our consortium termed these students the ‘forgotten middle’ because there are often programs to support the strongest and weakest students, but these students seem to miss out on programming aimed at helping them,” concluded Nutter.
Students will be tested using a college placement test while they are still high school juniors and seniors so that additional assistance can take place if needed before the students get to college. Chris Keylor, Superintendent of the OVESC explained that this Spring they will see the results from the first cohort of students involved in the program and they expect to see very positive outcomes.
“WSCC and OVESC are dedicated to the success of southern Ohio’s most vulnerable students,” said B.J. Smith, director of external affairs, AT&T Ohio. “That’s why AT&T is happy to partner with the College Ready Project to help students successfully prepare for college.”
In addition to WSCC, Belmont College, Zane State College, Ohio University, Muskingum University and Marietta College are also involved in the College Ready Project.
AT&T’s contribution is made possible through its signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire. AT&T Inspire is driving innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships, and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.
For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.