Ravenswood High School, along with 23 high schools across West Virginia have been recognized for their schools’ efforts to make students aware of higher education opportunities after they graduate. The inaugural “Champion of College Access and Success” recognition awards were presented by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to select schools that go the extra mile to help students and their families plan for college.

Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, interim chancellor of the Commission, said staff at every high school in West Virginia are working hard to help the state reach its goal of a 60-percent post-secondary education attainment rate by the year 2030; however, these schools have been especially active at helping their students understand what opportunities are available after high school.

“We’re proud to say that Champion schools put the success of their students first and their efforts to prepare them for a certificate or degree after they graduate will play a key part in helping West Virginia reach our 60 percent goal,” she said. “We’ve all got to work harder to bridge the education gap to ensure the state’s workforce remains competitive. I want to thank all of these schools for helping their students realize they have tremendous opportunity in their state.”

Dr. Steven L. Paine, state superintendent of schools, said, “Congratulations to the Champion schools that are the first to be honored with this award. The high schools must be commended for their commitment to making sure students not only have an understanding of their post-secondary options, but also have a plan and strategy for achieving these goals after high school,” he said. “I look forward to the continued spirit of collaboration between the Department of Education and the Higher Education Policy Commission in reaching this lofty goal. I know when we all work together, West Virginians can do anything.”

For high schools to be considered a Champion of College Access and Success, they must participate in three college-planning milestone events during the school year:

1. College Application and Exploration Week

2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion Campaign

3. College Decision Day Event

Each of these milestones has specific components to help college-bound students in West Virginia make the transition to college. The Higher Education Policy Commission provides financial aid and college application information, training and support to high schools, as well as event-planning assistance.

For more information about Champions of College Access and Success and college planning events, visit the College Foundation of West Virginia’s website at cfwvconnect.com/champion. The College Foundation of West Virginia, the student services face of the Higher Education Policy Commission, is a partner in West Virginia’s Climb. For more information about The Climb, visit wvclimb.com.