Program challenges high school seniors to pursue additional education after graduation
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2014) – Lieutenant Gov. Jerry Abramson today joined local officials, educators and the business community to launch a state program challenging Campbellsville Independent High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.
The “Close the Deal” initiative creates a college-going culture in select high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The statewide program, now in its third year, supports high school counselors, and engages the business and postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.
“If Kentucky is to compete for 21st century jobs, we must have a highly trained, skilled, educated workforce, and Close the Deal plays a critical role in achieving this goal,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “Expanding Close the Deal at Campbellsville Independent High School will definitely benefit the senior class, helping them know their options after earning their diplomas.”
Abramson said, like him, many Campbellsville Independent seniors will be first generation college-goers.
Close the Deal was created in Louisville when Abramson was mayor, after he realized that “many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next.”
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.
The successful launch of Close the Deal at Campbellsville Independent High School is due to 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,” Abramson said.
“We at Campbellsville Independent are pleased to have been afforded the opportunity by Lt. Gov. Abramson to expose our students to the many resources and options that are available to them after graduation,” said Mike Deaton, superintendent of Campbellsville Independent Schools. “Despite statistics that have revealed a high school diploma is no longer the guarantee to a rewarding job, many students do not realize the resources they have at their disposal in order to gain that one-, two- or four-year degree that enhances their employability and future.
“This event will provide our students with the information and tools that can start them on the path to one of those degrees. It will be a great program for them to recognize that taking the next step in their educational lives may not be as daunting as they thought. We look forward to hosting the colleges, businesses, and local officials that will help create the momentum for an increased awareness of possibilities for each and every graduating student at Campbellsville Independent.”
“We have heard nothing but great things from other schools that have participated in the Close the Deal event,” said Kirby Smith, principal at Campbellsville Independent High School. “We look forward to the opportunity that our students will have to meet and have meaningful conversations with KHEAA, colleges, armed services, local industries and businesses. We are very excited about the day that is planned for our students and feel that they will come away better informed and prepared to make decisions for their future. It looks to be a very promising day for the juniors and seniors of CHS.”
Officials at Campbellsville Independent High School will continue to work with juniors and seniors throughout the school year, further educating them on the need for additional education upon graduation. Through Close the Deal, counselors will encourage seniors 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 last year 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 joined students and officials at Breathitt County High School and Ohio County High School earlier this month for their Close the Deal kick-off events. Livingston Central High School will hold its Close the Deal kick-off Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Last year, Gallatin County High School, Covington-Holmes High School, Greenup County High School and Logan County High School participated in Close the Deal.
In 2012, Campbell County High School, Lawrence County High School and Bullitt Central High School participated.
For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.