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Virtual College Fair Aims to Help Kentucky Adults Finish Their Degrees

Kentucky’s public colleges and universities are teaming up to offer a statewide, virtual college fair for former students and other adults who are close to completing their college degrees.

The Project Graduate College Fair is set Tuesday, Sept. 30, from 11a.m.-9 p.m. ET (10 a.m.-8 p.m. CT). The fair will connect prospective students to college advisors who can answer questions via text and video chat, and help get the adults on a path to finish their degree.

Students can log on to register at http://www.projectgraduate.org through the day of the fair.

Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson announced the college fair at a news conference held in the Capitol Rotunda.

“If Kentucky is to compete in a 21st century economy, we must have a highly trained, skilled, educated workforce, and this initiative gets us closer to that goal,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “It really does take a communitywide effort, and I applaud CPE, KCTCS and the state’s four-year universities for their ongoing efforts to help make college more attainable for our citizens of all ages.”

Council Chair Pam Miller said, “We are excited that our campuses have joined together to host a convenient college fair for busy working adults who want to finish their degrees. Together, we are sending the message loud and clear: You can finish and we will help.”

The Council launched the nationally recognized program in 2007, in collaboration with the state’s public four-year universities. More than 1,500 students have earned their bachelor’s degrees through the program, and another 1,000 were in the pipeline last fall.

New this fall is the participation of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).

“Project Graduate will provide KCTCS students the opportunity to re-establish their career goals and design a pathway to completing their degree,” said KCTCS President Michael B. McCall. “Because having a postsecondary credential is critical in today’s job market, this is the perfect time for students to re-enroll and finish their programs.”

To qualify for Project Graduate, students must have earned 80 or more credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree or 30 or more toward an associate degree.

The four-year institutions will waive application fees for qualifying students who both attend the fair and register for classes in the spring 2015 term. KCTCS does not charge application fees.

All public colleges and universities are participating, including:

  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Kentucky State University
  • Morehead State University
  • Murray State University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • Western Kentucky University
  • 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System

Other speakers included Rep. Derrick Graham, chair of the House Education Committee, Lisa Cox, Eastern Kentucky University’s director for student outreach and transition, and George Selden, a graduate of EKU.

Project Graduate is the recipient of the 2012 Noel-Levitz Retention Award for Excellence and is a key strategy in the state’s college completion agenda. The primary components include one statewide brand, campus advocates, and high-touch services and incentives, which vary by institution.

For more information, visit http://www.projectgraduate.org.

From the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Photo: NKU Campus