Thursday, July 16, 2009



OH: Technology helps the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE) work more effectively. The program serves 32 counties, 11 colleges, and 19 public schools, a huge territory to cover. Webinars (GoToMeeting is the technology resource; costs 1K per year for unlimited use)help sites collect data in a correct fashion. OH also uses technology to communicate with site coordinators, to disseminate grant funding opportunity information, and to conduct RFP training for OACHE-funded programs. The director controls the computer screen and what people see, displaying forms and showing participants how to complete them accurately. TA is provided using both face-to-face and online meetings. OACHE commissioned a follow-up college access study through the Voinovich Center at Ohio University to compare 2008 data with the 1992 data; economic development is now an OACHE focus.

Note: ZoHo – an online database (Access) – is available for free. TN will be using this resource collect data from schools. Another resource, E-lluminate, is free. Some AHE Centers have used Survey Monkey to collect data.

NC: The RFP is online. The director follows up by telephone with key counties. TA workshops are face-to-face.

GA: The RFP is online. TA workshops are face-to-face.

TN: Everything is sent via email. Applicants submit application electronically. GEAR-UP collaboration/cooperation remains an issue. In planning a “sustainability summit,” it’s important to consider who needs to be at the table.

WVACHE: The RFP is online. TA workshops are face-to-face.

MS: The RFP is online, but also sent electronically. TA workshops are face-to-face. First meetings are done face-to-face, but electronic meetings are used for subsequent gatherings. GEAR UP has a new cohort – 7th grade, and one school is participating. The MSIHL (Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning) is handling this program. There are no perceived barriers, and the MSIHL is writing a challenge grant application.

KY: RFP is sent via snail mail and via email. Director follows up with personal telephone calls. Personal contact makes a difference because a lot of people don’t know what AHE Network is about.

Note: Webinars need to have a purpose and be short (45 minutes). The benefits: everyone gets the same information at the same time. With travel cuts and the expense of substitute teachers, Webinars are cost effective.


NC: In August 2008, Director met with the Campus-based network management team to let them know about the end of funding. The suggestion: get the players together. In November 2008, a sustainability summit with partners (UNC-Asheville and Western Carolina University) was conducted. The 48 attendees included: current grantees, the ARC state program manager, state legislators, superintendents, etc. GEAR UP did not participate, but POCs were made aware of the activity.


Learn more about the college-going system in your state, and about the organizations working toward achieving common goals. Create a list of similar organizations in your state and identify where partnership opportunities are possible.


End of year report must include a treasury report with appropriate signatures. No receipts, rosters or syllabus required; however, the school must keep this information on hand, and have it available upon request.

Value-added reports are available in both TN and OH; each superintendent has this information. This information helps schools identify and address the population or areas of need such as: low income, teacher development, etc.

The National Student Clearinghouse, the nation’s trusted source for enrollment verification, can be purchased to track students for college-going rates. Note: staff from the Clearinghouse will be invited to present at the OACHE conference.

Do not use 9th grade cohort; use seniors who actually graduated (senior class) unless you used the 9th grade cohort for your initial report.


Host institution must understand the mission of the Center. Host a retreat for institutional staff; help them understand the mission of the organization (Center), get help from the AHE Center board of directors.

Follow your institution’s guidelines, regardless of the grant funding outline.

-- Serve on committees for the institution.
-- Head up an office of sponsored programs for institution.
-- Use governing and advisory boards to make policies.

The AHE Center director position must be at least 50% time. You cannot be a 10% director; at 50% time the agenda is not in competition; you must have the full support of the institution.


Establish partnership with local education service centers; make presentations about the program to the staff.

Provide opportunity for curriculum dialogues between college faculty and high school teachers.

Conduct a check presentation ceremony off campus; invited guests should include: school principals, graduation coaches, superintendent, grant coordinator from each school, and ARC state leaders. Prepare press release; invite reporters to the presentation.

Any senior in NC will receive an acceptance letter from a Community College based on an area code; make sure schools know about this (and other) resources.

Provide opportunities for effective principals to speak to principals in other schools - use principals in the trenches to speak to those in similar situations.

Encourage school staff participation in the bus tour/reality store.

Sponsor a parent-student night.

Use the simulation: Welcome to the State of Poverty: Understanding Families in Poverty to help school staff understand their students (and their situations) better.

Work with 4-H clubs and other out-of-school activities (reach the students outside of the schools); develop partnerships with these and other community resources.

Tell the school staff about the resources available from the PIRC-centers; on the AHE Center website(s).


Meet with parents off campus and/or off the school site; some parents are not comfortable on campus if they had a negative school experience.

When conducting college/campus tours, invite parents to participate and chaperone.

Look for resources available from the resource CollegeGoalSundayUSA, information on where and when to attend a College Goal Sunday program, as well as accessing financial aid resources.

Use resources from KnowHow2Go─ real-time, on-the-ground assistance to help with college-going. This initiative has built and continues to support a strong grassroots network of partners. To date, more than 14 state and regional coalitions and 30 national partners have signed onto the campaign; KnowHow2Go-Ohio received a 20,000 grant.

Use the Educational Needs Index (ENI)– a study of educational economic, and population pressures that influence educational policy and planning (and educational results).

Spread the word widely about available college access resources; for example and if appropriate, paint barns with such information.

Conduct symposia and follow-up with a publication about what works and what doesn’t work.

FEDERAL (National & Regional) REFLECTIONS

SQUARE ─Something I Learned that Squares with My Belief; My Work Experiences

  • Relationships are like handlebars and something valuable to hold on to – especially the relationships with members of AHE Network! I learn so much from each.
  • The time is now for change and opportunity to reform education: leadership; accountability; transparency.
  • Change the disconnect between education and the economy.
  • Networking is key.
  • The need to share best practices.
  • Learning from others is important
  • Communities are stronger when the educational structure is productive.

TRIANGLE – 3 Important Points to Remember

  • Communicate with other Centers and state contacts when talking or working with colleagues from that state.
  • The importance of keeping current with policy, data, best practices, and the national scene.
  • Keep in contact with legislators; keep them in the loop.
  • Opportunity is now to get things done.
  • Change relationships to cross the lines.
  • Take advantage of ‘being broke’.
  • Value of leadership
  • “Race to the Top” Money an opportunity
  • 10 data points and ties to money for State Departments of Education
  • Leadership skills are important
  • IEL is about relationships as much as leadership development.
  • Data is not just for researchers.

CIRCLE – A Lingering Question(s)

  • What is the best avenue(s) to start the conversation; to keep it going; and set the motion while keeping the momentum? (action-oriented)
  • How can we sustain the AHE Network program?
  • Why does the AHE Network look so different in each state?
  • Are we “equals” in the network structure?