White House Reach Higher event comes to UCCS

In support of the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative, which strives to ensure all students understand what they need to complete education beyond high school, the State of Colorado will host a National Reach Higher convening June 13-16 on campus.

reach_higher_logoTwo sessions of the convening are open to members of the campus community, according to Rhonda Williams, associate professor, College of Education.

They are:

  • 2:45 p.m.- 4 p.m. June 15, Berger Hall. Lisa Schmacher, McDonald’s Corporation, will present the company’s Archways to Opportunity Program to demonstrate the intersection of business and education.
  • 11 a.m. – Noon, June 16, Berger Hall. Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and a White House representative will discuss next steps from the convening.

During the convening, 30 state teams made up of business, workforce school and state agency leaders will come together at UCCS for the Reach Higher Convening entitled, “Preparing Students with Work-Ready Skills” to explore intersections between education and business and recommend practices for work-based learning opportunities. In today’s economy, a high school diploma isn’t enough. Students have to reach higher, which is why the First Lady is working with partners like the State of Colorado to rally the country around the President’s North Star goal – that by 2020, the United States will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

The event will include remarks by Secretary of Education John King, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Colorado Sen. Pat Steadman and representatives from Arrow Electronics, Intertech Plastics, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, and Western Union. The event will showcase how school counseling and career counseling are foundational to students successfully understanding their options to attain credentials in and beyond high school.

“We are proud to show the nation what Colorado has done to address the serious problem of a lack of post-secondary education attainment by underserved groups,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “The state has developed the Colorado School Counselor Grant Program, which has been able to add more than 200 licensed school counselors at Colorado schools, districts, BOCES over the past seven years.”

The counselors have been able to work to help improve the graduation rate at local 233 secondary schools in 75 of the state’s school districts and increase the number of students who appropriately prepare for, apply to and continue into postsecondary education, Hickenlooper said.

During the two-day event, participants will engage in conversations with members of the Obama Administration and will participate in panel discussions, breakout sessions and site visits that explore work-based learning opportunities. This convening event will focus on action steps and provide participant the opportunity to visit programs that highlight business and education partnerships.

The Reach Higher Initiative is an Administration-wide effort administered by the White House in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. For more information visit www.ReachHigher.gov and follow the initiative on Twitter @ReachHigher @FLOTUS, on Instagram @ReachHigher2020.  For additional information on the convening, visit http://www.uccs.edu/reachhigher/index.html

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