College & Workforce Readiness

Ohio Program Honored for Increasing Access to College

By Sean Cavanagh — May 21, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Over the past decade, an Ohio program has nurtured dreams of a college education among an often-overlooked subset of the American population: teenagers in rural, poverty-stricken Appalachia.

This month, the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education was recognized for its efforts as one of five winners of an Innovations in American Government Award.

More information on the Ohio consortium can be found at

The national prize, which comes with a $100,000 grant for each winner, is given by the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, in cooperation with the Council for Excellence in Government, a Washington-based group that seeks to improve government performance and understanding of the public sector.

The Ohio center, founded in 1993, is a consortium of 10 colleges and universities devoted to improving access to higher education among high school students in 29 counties in the eastern part of the state. Based in Portsmouth, Ohio, the center awards competitive grants to K-12 schools in the region, which in turn run programs to promote college access, career planning, understanding of financial aid, and other issues.

At least 56 school districts have had at least one school receive funding under the program, said Wayne White, the center’s executive director.

Message Received

Those school efforts include having teachers and high school alumni talk to students about their own college experiences and what it took to succeed on campus, and bringing high school counselors to college campuses.

Other efforts have focused on having students make visits to vastly different kinds of work sites— the high-paying, very appealing kind, and the less appealing variety, or what Mr. White jokingly calls “the smelly places.”

The message is, “If you don’t like the odor here, by the way, there’s a community college down the road,” Mr. White said.

That message seems to be taking hold: College attendance improved in more than 77 percent of the 49 projects financed by the Ohio program through September 2000, according to those presenting the awards for government innovations.

“They broke down stereotypes [for] ‘Who is college material?’ ” said Carl A. Fillichio, a vice-president for the Council for Excellence in Government. “The program could be replicated, and others could learn from it.”

Related Tags:


Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!

Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help
Fewer and fewer high school graduates have applied for federal financial aid for college since the pandemic hit.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of young person sitting on top of a financial trend line.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision<br/>
College & Workforce Readiness Louisiana Student Finds Stability Amid Tumultuous Freshman Year
Logan Balfantz arrived at the University of Notre Dame last fall considering himself one of the lucky graduates in 2020.
3 min read
Logan Balfantz
Logan Balfantz
Courtesy of Sarah Kubinski
College & Workforce Readiness Layoffs, COVID, Spotty Internet: A Fla. Student Persists in College
Bouts with COVID-19 were just the latest challenges to face class of 2020 graduate Magdalena Estiverne and her family.
2 min read
Magdalina Estiverne poses for a portrait at her home in Orlando, Fla., on October 2, 2020. Estiverne graduated from high school in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orlando, Fla., student Magdalena Estiverne poses for a portrait in 2020, four months after her high school graduation.
Eve Edelheit for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness 2021 Grad Builds Peer Support for College Planning
College-going clubs can support first-generation students, says Daniela Andrade, whose own high school club helped her get to Harvard.
2 min read
Harvard University freshman Daniela Andrade on campus October 12, 2021 in Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard University freshman Daniela Andrade takes a break between classes earlier this fall at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
Angela Rowlings for Education Week