Statistics show that solid, higher paying jobs in the United States tend to require some kind of certification or degree — and also that rural students face some unique disadvantages. With that in mind, Ozarks Technical Community College is using grant money help rural high school students plan for life after graduation.
Four new academic advisors have been embedded in high schools in Branson, Forsyth, Hollister, and Reeds Spring as part of the project, which received grant funding from the rootEd Alliance.
Steve Fouse, the director of student success at OTC, says these new advisors are helping students figure out how to enroll in two- and four-year-colleges, technical schools, or the military—not just OTC.
“Basically, if you’re going to have a living wage job most of those now require some kind of postsecondary attainment and rootEd Alliance and OTC are partnering up to make sure rural high school students have access to those postsecondary attainments,” Fouse said.
rootEd Alliance is a philanthropic effort that supports rural students.
Last year, Missouri Governor Mike Parson restructured state government so that workforce development and higher education are more closely aligned.
One of his goals is to increase the proportion of adults with high-quality post-secondary credentials to 60 percent in five years, according to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development website.