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Grant Award Continues College and Career Coach Program

Grant Award Continues College and Career Coach Program at

ASUMH, Cotter and Flippin High Schools

Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) recently received notification of approval of a grant to fund one College and Career Coach to be shared between the Cotter and Flippin School Districts.  The grant, funded by Arkansas Works Program, is designed to provide middle school and high school students with information about career opportunities in Arkansas and the level of education and skills required in order to be successful in various career fields.  The grant also strives to encourage individuals to learn about, prepare for, and finance a postsecondary education. This is the second year that ASUMH and the Cotter and Flippin school districts have participated in the College and Career Coach program.

"We are thrilled to learn that ASUMH has received the College and Career Coach grant again this school year, and that we will be a partner in that program," said  Amanda Britt, Principal at Cotter High School.  "It helps counselors at our school provide students with all the information they need in the process of developing their career interests and helping those interested in attending college with scholarships." 

The goal of the program is to improve career awareness, increase the graduation rate and increase the percentage of graduates scoring at college level in all ACT content areas by 5%, thereby improving the college-going rate at each location by 10%.  "I can see the Career Coach program growing in value to our students with each passing year, as they move into their college or career paths," said Don Sharp, Superintendent of Cotter Public Schools.  "As students, parents, and school personnel become more familiar with the program, I expect to see even greater positive outcomes in the future." 

A part of the program is a two-week after school ACT camp for students who scored below a 19 on the ACT exam and meet other requirements. Britt said that Cotter students haven't had an opportunity for a comprehensive ACT preparatory class until the College and Career Coach began working in their school.  "This program reached over students in grades 8-12," said Jennifer Dunn, College and Career Coach.  "It really has been a great tool in getting ACT scores up.  Students spend two weeks in six hours of intensive ACT prep class.  In addition, the Career Coach will also work individually with students to complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and YOUniversal Scholarship applications.  Projects throughout the year will include job shadowing opportunities for students and other career exploration activities. 

"ASUMH is delighted to partner with the Cotter and Flippin School Districts to help students find career direction, increase high school graduation rates, and increase ACT scores," said Rosalyn Blagg, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at ASUMH. "We appreciate the commitment of Superintendents Don Sharp and Dale Query in this partnership effort."

Cassie Gilley, Principal of Flippin High School, says that the program will continue to provide students with opportunities to grow. "It's been great for our students to work with the College and Career Coach this past year. We're happy to continue this relationship with ASUMH."  The Superintendent of Flippin School District, Dale Query, agrees.  "It has been our experience at Flippin High /school that this person has significantly impacted our student body in a very positive way.  The Career Coach has enhanced opportunities for our students regarding choosing a career and helped provide scholarship information for our continuing education.  This position is developing into an invaluable asset in our school system." 

For more information on the College and Career Program at ASUMH, contact Jennifer Dunn at (870) 405-9716

Pictured (left to right) Amanda Britt, Cotter High School Principal; Jennifer Dunn, College and Career Coach; Cassie Gilley, Flippin High School Principal


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