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Eight Mississippi public high schools and the Woodward Hines Education Foundation’s (WHEF) flagship program, Get2College, have been selected for a 2018 Governor’s Award for Outstanding School-Community Partnership by the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education (MAPE). MAPE will hosted a luncheon on Feb. 27 at the Hilton of Jackson.

“Research shows that that community-school partnerships help break down barriers that hold students back from enrolling in and graduating from college,” says Ann Hendrick, director of the Get2College program. “The pilot program works because counselors, administrators, and teachers are all providing an environment that encourages students to go to college.”

The Get2College pilot school program started in the fall of 2015 based on research by the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC). The program implements best practices for creating a college culture, including ACT preparation, college search, and the admissions application process. Its long-term goal is to increase the rates of college enrollment and graduation for its students.

The results of the pilot school program are promising: 66% of 2016 seniors enrolled in college within first year of graduating from high school, as compared to national figure of 62% for students having graduated from low income schools. The schools and districts below have been awarded for their participation in the program.

  • Bruce High School (Calhoun County SD)
  • Lake Cormorant High School (DeSoto County SD)
  • St. Martin High School (Jackson County SD)
  • Moss Point Career and Technical Center (Moss Point SD)
  • Pelahatchie Attendance Center (RCSD)
  • Taylorsville High School (Smith County SD)
  • O’Bannon High School (Western Line SD)
  • Riverside High School (Western Line SD)

“This partnership has been transformational for our students,” says Valerie Hennington of Smith County. “It has raised their aspirations for themselves and given them the tools to be successful in college.

Throughout this ongoing, multi-year partnership, Get2College staff brings the services it offers in its centers directly to the school sites, supporting students, families, counselors, teachers, and administrators. The curriculum consists of a three-pronged approach of workshops, special events (including visits to college campuses and college application days), and individual counseling on college planning and FAFSA completion.

View the gallery from the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education Governor’s Awards luncheon on their Facebook page and learn more at mapie.org.

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