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"See You at College" focuses on the kids who aren't there
Conference at Kent State zeros in on first-generation and low-income college potential

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Ohio colleges and other institutions try to figure out how to get first generation and low-income kids into college.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:

Getting first-generation and low-income kids into – and then through – college takes a combination of factors beginning with family and extending to everything from volunteer work to help with paperwork. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a regional conference focusing on a higher education priority for Ohio.

LISTEN: Hispanic drop-out rate and famlies

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The See You at College conference hosted by Kent State drew some 300 people from public universities and colleges, and health and community organizations throughout Northeast Ohio. They focused on mindset, finances and preparation to steer off high school dropout rates and raise college enrollment and graduation rates.

Victor Ruiz heads Esperanza, a group originally focused on college scholarships for Hispanic students.

Its focus changed when “it got to the point in 2010 where seven out of 10 of the Hispanic youth in the Cleveland school district were dropping out. So, we felt that we needed to have a more focused approach. And through our research interviewing hundreds of young people, the one piece that came up over and over and over was the role of the family. 

Another challenge highlighted by the speakers is kids who opt-out of college themselves: convinced they could never afford it or don’t have what it takes to graduate.

Ohio lawmakers last week issued a report on changes in higher education that includes more emphasis on mentorships, apprenticeships and alternative programs.

Here's the full panel discussion on influences at the See You @ College forum. It ws led by the Rev. Ronald Fowler of Kent State, and panel members are:
Carol LaSpina, a parent; Kwame Scruggs, founder of Alchemy Inc; Victor Ruiz, executive director of Esperanza Inc; and Carol Rivchun, president of Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

Panel on first-generation and low-income college students

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