Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
St. Paul, MN - The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) is doubling its efforts to help Minnesota students prepare for and be successful in college.
Marcio Thompson and Kathleen Klima have joined OHE in the positions of Outreach Coordinator and Outreach Specialist, respectively. Both are expanding efforts to connect with students and families across the state, with special emphasis on underrepresented students.
"Student and parent outreach is a primary mission of the Office of Higher Education, made even more important by the persistent attainment gaps we see for low-income, first generation and students of color," said Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of OHE. "Marcio and Kat bring distinct strengths and experience to our efforts to help every Minnesota student be successful in postsecondary education."
Thompson previously worked at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, where he held the position of Senior Financial Aid Counselor. He has extensive outreach experience with students and families, counseling and presenting on higher education topics from financial aid to financial literacy. Thompson has a Certificate in Equity and Diversity and is dedicated to reaching all communities of color with OHE's message regarding higher education.
Klima first joined OHE this summer as an intern to expand the Summer Nudging program, a texting program designed to combat "summer melt," which nationally contributes to 20% of students who have been accepted into college failing to enroll in the fall; 40% or more from low-income families fail to matriculate. Since she started, Klima has tripled the reach of Summer Nudging and is working to expand the program statewide.
As a fluent Spanish speaker, Klima is also expanding outreach efforts to Spanish-speaking students and families. Beginning in November, she is traveling statewide with the Navigate program to talk to Latino parents and students about preparing and paying for college.
OHE offers a full range of outreach activities, including financial aid and college planning presentations to thousands of Minnesota students and parents each year, the distribution of publications on choosing, applying and paying for college, the Summer Nudging program, and presentations designed to help Dream Act students understand their options for paying for college.
"Our expanded outreach supports Governor Dayton's efforts to address economic disparities in Minnesota. Postsecondary access and completion is a proven path to job stability and economic security," said Pogemiller.
For more information, contact Sandy Connolly at 651-259-3902 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.