Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson joined local officials, educators and the business community yesterday to launch a state pilot program 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 postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.
At the 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.”
The successful launch of Close the Deal at Campbell County 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.
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.