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October 3, 2012
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Officials launch Close the Deal, program to challenge high school seniors to pursue additional education

Gives seniors chance to engage in crucial conversations with colleges

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Terry Holliday met with school leaders, local elected officials and chamber leaders on Aug. 28 to discuss “Close the Deal” programs in Bullitt, Campbell and Lawrence counties. The program was launched today in Campbell County.

ALEXANDRIA, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2012) – Local officials, educators, the business community and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson launched a state pilot program today challenging Campbell County High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.

The Close the Deal initiative creates a college-going culture in high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The program supports high school counselors, and engages the business and post-secondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.

At today’s Close the Deal launch, seniors met with college representatives regarding how to apply for admission and financial aid, while local business leaders outlined the skills needed for current and future opportunities.

“We started Close the Deal when I was mayor of Louisville because we realized that many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next. Since then, more than 5,400 students have learned how to continue their education thanks to the program, and it’s still going strong in Louisville,” Abramson said. “Now we are partnering with Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and launching the initiative in Campbell County to engage even more high school seniors.”

Abramson said like him, many of these students will be first generation college-goers.

The successful launch of Close the Deal at Campbell County High School is because of the partnership between state and local officials, educators and business leaders who want seniors to pursue higher education, “whether through community college for a certificate or a two-year associate degree, or a traditional four-year university,” he said.

The Close the Deal event will give seniors the chance to engage in crucial conversations with college admissions, financial aid and business experts as they carefully plan their next steps, said Campbell County Superintendent Glen Miller.

“I am so anxious to see the positive impact that Close the Deal will have on our seniors. I believe it will create a sharp focus on their next steps after high school,” said Renee Boots, principal of Campbell County High School. “We are honored to be chosen for this opportunity and all it will bring for our students.”

Officials at Campbell County High School will continue to work with seniors throughout the school year, further educating them on the need for additional education upon graduation. Through Close the Deal, counselors will encourage students to apply to at least one college or university.

In taking Close the Deal statewide, Abramson formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to add the program to the department’s “Operation Preparation” initiative.

Operation Preparation was launched in March and combines the efforts of the Department of Education and the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to discuss life after high school with students.

“Close the Deal complements Operation Preparation’s mission, which is to encourage partnerships between communities and their schools to ensure that students are ready for college and careers,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Close the Deal provides students with the information and tools they will need to explore higher education options, raising their comfort levels and knowledge as they prepare for life after high school.”

Abramson will join local officials to launch Close the Deal at two other participating schools – Bullitt Central High School on Oct. 9, and Lawrence County High School on Oct. 22. Abramson said he is hopeful that additional high schools will join the program in the coming years.

For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.

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