Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
Students, Parents to get more Support and Information to Plan for College
Minnesota high school and middle school counselors will have new electronic tools, information and training to help them identify, counsel and communicate with students who need assistance to stay on track for college success, thanks to a $735,000 federal grant awarded to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
Funding for the grant was authorized in 2007 as part of a $66 million provision of the federal Omnibus Higher Education Act to improve college access. Each state had an opportunity to apply for the funds, and nearly all states received a grant.
"For too many students, the critical barrier to college admission and success is a lack of academic preparation in high school," said Susan Heegaard, director of the Office of Higher Education, the state agency coordinating the grant activities in Minnesota. "We want to help build the capacity of counselors and educators to use the latest counseling tools available so they can identify students who need help and provide them with timely support."
The grant will be targeted specifically to schools serving large numbers of low-income students and students from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. In an era when a college education is increasingly considered essential for career opportunities beyond minimum wage, Minnesota will use the funds to encourage high school students to be ready academically, socially and financially for college.
There are three parts to Minnesota's college-readiness initiative:
The Office of Higher Education is working with the Minnesota Department of Education and other partners to offer these opportunities to counselors, educators, students and their families.
School staff and counselors interested in learning more about the Naviance software licensing and training opportunities or other professional development opportunities for the 2008-2009 academic year may visit www.ohe.state.mn.us/college-ready
The Office of Higher Education is a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. The agency serves as the state's clearinghouse for data, research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, funding and trends.