Miranda H. Lewis
Carter County Times
The American College Application Campaign (ACAC) named East Carter High School as a 2022 School of Excellence winner for its part of the Kentucky Goes to College campaign.
“I am extremely proud of our school for achieving this award. Our school community emphasizes the importance of post-secondary education and training, whether that be attending a four year college, earning a two year degree, or learning a trade through the KCTCS system,” said principal Kelly Moore.
“This honor reflects the dedication we have to help our students who want to continue learning beyond high school,” added school counselor Bill Billman.
The ACAC, a national initiative of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, is designed to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families pursuing a college degree or other postsecondary credentials.
“We know that the college application process is challenging to navigate, especially for first-generation college-goers and students from low-income families,” ACT Chief Executive Officer Janet Godwin said. “The efforts from our American College Application Campaign collaborators and educators are making a substantial difference, helping high schoolers in communities across the country. Students are inspired to discover and fulfil their full potential because of their efforts.”
The Campaign began in 2005 and has received 7.3 million applications, while serving 4.2 million students nationally. The ACAC has been recognizing outstanding schools for four years.
ACAC selected 23 School of Excellence awardees for the 2022-2023 school year. The winners were described as, “a group of exemplary schools across the nations that are helping students pursue higher education.”
Of the 5,150 high schools that hosted a College Application Campaign event this past fall, ECHS was chosen based on its commitment to student success and for serving as an exemplary model for Kentucky’s college application campaign.
“There could not be a more critical time for us all to support students and educators, and the remarkable reach of this year’s application campaigns demonstrates the value and strength of these collaborations,” ACAC Director Lisa King said.
The twenty three winning schools, including ECHS, were key contributors in helping ACAC “reach national achievements in the 2022-2023 school year, as reported by campaigns in 43 states”:
- More than 290,000 seniors submitted one or more college applications during the events.
- Approximately 959,200 applications were submitted — more than doubling the 2021 campaign’s total.
“As students continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we must do all we can to remove the barriers they tell us they have to accessing the education opportunities that are right for them. We are extremely proud of this year’s School of Excellence awardees, as they are true examples of how communities can work together to help students succeed,” added King.
Every year, the ACAC designates coordinators in every state and the District of Columbia. Coordinators host events in local schools and communities in hopes of encouraging students to apply to college and offering help when needed.
The 2022 School of Excellence winners offered college application events including one-on-one mentoring, parents’ night, and support for pursuing financial aid.
“Our school counselors, Bill Billman and Belicia Sexton, have created wonderful relationships with our KHEAA rep, Amy Marvin, as well as the admissions teams at ACTC, MSU, Marshall University, EKU, and UK, to name a few,” said Moore. “These relationships with outside sources have ensured East Carter reaches our goals of helping kids succeed beyond high school, and getting the college application completed is a major first step.”
“Our partnerships with our college representatives is the key to our success. We have college representatives in our building constantly. They come in to talk about what all their schools have to offer and even help students apply. One would think this is where the recruiters would stop, but I have several of them that will come in to do the next steps with our students. Many of our Raiders even know the college recruiters by name.”
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