State Program Launched in Campbell Co. Encourages Continuing Education
Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today joined local officials, educators and the business community to launch a state pilot program challenging Campbell County High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.
The Close the Deal initiative creates a college-going culture in high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The program supports high school counselors, and engages the business and postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.
At today’s Close the Deal launch, seniors met with college representatives regarding how to apply for admission and financial aid, while local business leaders outlined the skills needed for current and future opportunities.
“We started Close the Deal when I was mayor of Louisville because we realized that many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next. Since then, more than 5,400 students have learned how to continue their education thanks to the program, and it’s still going strong in Louisville,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “Now we are partnering with Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and launching the initiative in Campbell County to engage even more high school seniors.”
Lt. Gov. Abramson said like him, many of these students will be first generation college-goers.
The successful launch of Close the Deal at Campbell County High School is due to the partnership between state and local officials, educators and business leaders who want seniors to pursue higher education, “whether through community college for a certificate or a two-year associate degree, or a traditional four-year university,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said.
“I am honored that Campbell County Schools is one of three school districts in Kentucky chosen to pilot Lt. Gov. Abramson’s initiative,” said Campbell County Superintendent Glen Miller. “The Close the Deal event will give our seniors the chance to engage in crucial conversations with college admissions, financial aid and business experts as they carefully plan their next steps. Campbell County Schools offers a wide variety of opportunities for our students to prepare for success in college, career and life. Close the Deal is the pinnacle of this work as we invite our seniors to begin to design their plans for life after high school.”
“I am so anxious to see the positive impact that Close the Deal will have on our seniors. I believe it will create a sharp focus on their next steps after high school,” said Renee Boots, principal of Campbell County High School. “We are honored to be chosen for this opportunity and all it will bring for our students.”
“We are thrilled to pilot the Close the Deal Initiative here in Campbell County,” said Campbell County Judge-Executive Steve Pendery. “By providing our students with this opportunity, we are taking a proactive approach to raising the level of skill and education within our community workforce.”
“I believe the best piece of advice I was ever given was from my Grandpa Rachford. Some time during my first couple of years in high school, he told me ‘get yourself a good education because it is something no one can ever take away from you,’” said Alexandria Mayor Bill Rachford. “That statement was the impetus I needed to pursue a college education and it kept me motivated through nearly 10 years of night school until I graduated. Close the Deal will have far reaching positive effects. Our high school seniors need to understand they are the ones responsible for their successes or failures in life.”
“We are thrilled that Northern Kentucky has been a site chosen to pilot the Close the Deal initiative led by Lt. Gov. Abramson,” said Steve Stevens, president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “Workforce readiness has been a high priority for the NKY Chamber for many years and clearly the messages sent by businesses directly to high school seniors regarding the necessity of post-secondary education for acquiring their available jobs should be one of the most powerful ways to encourage them to pursue more than their high school diploma. The Chamber is pleased to have many of its member businesses ready and willing to step up and participate in this vitally important program.”
Officials at Campbell County High School will continue to work with seniors throughout the school year, further educating them on the need for additional education upon graduation. Through Close the Deal, counselors will encourage students to apply to at least one college or university.
In taking Close the Deal statewide, Lt. Gov. Abramson formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to add the program to the department’s “Operation Preparation” initiative.
Operation Preparation was launched in March and combines the efforts of the Department of Education and the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to discuss life after high school with students.
“Close the Deal complements Operation Preparation’s mission, which is to encourage partnerships between communities and their schools to ensure that students are ready for college and careers,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Close the Deal provides students with the information and tools they will need to explore higher education options, raising their comfort levels and knowledge as they prepare for life after high school.”
Lt. Gov. Abramson will join local officials to launch Close the Deal at two other participating schools – Bullitt Central High School, on Oct. 6, and Lawrence County High School, on Oct. 22. Abramson said he is hopeful that additional high schools will join the program in the coming years.
For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.
SOURCE: press release