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Kent State Hosts See You @ College Conference to Increase Enrollment and Graduation of First-Generation College Students

Posted Feb. 3, 2014

Kent State University will host a one-day conference that is expected to bring together about 300 community organizations and leaders to discuss ways to increase college enrollment and graduation of first-generation and academically motivated students in Northeast Ohio. The See You @ College conference will take place on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The conference is free and open to high school and college educators and administrators, community leaders, educational organizations and more. Registration is required and can be done at www.kent.edu/seeyouatcollege/register.

Photo for See You @ College conferenceThe See You @ College: Northeast Ohio Pathways to Success is an inclusive, long-term college access collaborative initiative designed to engage community leaders and organizations to become involved in guiding and assisting first-generation families and their students in finding more pathways to a college education.

“The See You @ College initiative was the vision of Rev. Ron Fowler, special assistant to the president on community engagement, and Iris Harvey, vice president for university relations, who initially sought to increase college access for students by working with faith-based organizations,” said Said Sewell, Ph.D., assistant provost. “Their efforts were in line with Complete College America and Complete College Ohio that noted that young people either are not going to college or attending but not graduating because they are not well-prepared. The Complete College Ohio taskforce further noted that if the state of Ohio is to stay competitive in the global market, it is imperative that the state, by 2020, increases its total number of college graduates by at least 56 percent, or 845,000 people. See You @ College is one of Kent State’s efforts toward that goal.”

The conference, which is a collaboration with other Northeast Ohio institutions of higher learning and nonprofits, is intended to engage community leaders in discussions with a diversity of other leaders who are engaged daily in promoting the value of a college degree. The See You @ College framework is to harness the power of those in a community who have contact with and are trusted by families and to further empower them with information, resources and tools about higher education so that they can be part of the emotional and motivational support system that many families need in order to get their first-generation students prepared and enrolled in college.

Among the panelists at the conference will be representatives from across the Kent State campuses. There also will be an exhibit area where Kent State units and other organizations will display materials about their programs.

Greg Darneider, senior advisor for college access at the U.S. Department of Education, will serve as opening speaker at the conference, and Steve Perry, Ed.D., author, principal and CNN educational contributor, will serve as luncheon speaker.

Breakout sessions at the conference will explore topics such as “Dual Enrollment, Upward Bound, Post-Secondary Educational Opportunity Programs,” “Why Is College Important and How Do We Make It an Expectation?,” “Making Dreams a Reality: Finding the Best Fit” and “The Holistic Impact of Education Attainment.”

Watch a short video that shows the testimonials of first-generation college students to learn why the See You @ College initiative is important to Kent State.

For more information about Kent State’s See You @ College initiative and conference, call 330-672-2220 or visit www.kent.edu/seeyouatcollege/register.

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Photo Caption:
Kent State University hosts the See You @ College conference on Thursday, Feb. 13. The conference is expected to bring together community organizations and leaders to discuss ways to increase college enrollment and graduation of first-generation and academically motivated students.

Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield, emansfie@kent.edu, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595