Commissioner Wozniak announces College Coach programWritten by Emily Gibb | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak and officials from Toledo Public Schools, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Toledo Community Foundation and Partners in Education announced plans for the Committed College Coach Program at a press conference at Grove Patterson Academy on March 21.
The program aims to help fifth-grade students from Sherman Elementary and Grove Patterson Academy find a “college coach,” a mentor that will commit to help them along their educational journey until they are sophomores in college. Together with the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, Lourdes College and Owens Community College, students will have the resources and help to continue their path to college.
“We really want more and more young people to attend college,” Wozniak said. “We want all of you to attend college. That’s our goal. That’s our dream.”
Wozniak said only about 14 percent of Lucas County adult residents have a bachelor’s degree. She approached TPS and other partners to help boost that rate starting with the youth. Toledo Community Foundation is contributing about half of the funding needed for the pilot program with the rest of the funding expected from the State of Ohio through Jobs and Family Services. Initial costs are estimated at about $43,500 for a program director and material fees.
Fifth grade teachers from both elementary schools were already trained to help with the program and, eventually, the guidance counselors will be as well. In seventh grade, the guidance counselors will become involved and the students will start visiting colleges.
At the press conference, the first coach and student declaration was signed by Terrina White and her daughter, Nakiya White.
White is an employee and graduate of the University of Toledo and said she hopes that the program not only helps young students attend college, but also motivates their coaches, who might not have gone or might not have finished college, to go back and finish their degree.
“We’re going to change our community for the better,” Wozniak said.
More information on the program can be found on their newly launched website, www.committedcollegecoach.com
Tags: Bowling Green State University, Education, Lourdes College, Lucas County, Owens Community College, Partners in Education, Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Toledo, Toledo Community Foundation, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Toledo Public Schools, University of Toledo