Raleigh County’s Liberty High School receives American College Application Campaign’s School of Excellence Award
CHARLESTON, WV – College for West Virginia (CFWV) announced today that Liberty High School in Raleigh County has been named a recipient of the American College Application Campaign’s 2021 School of Excellence Award. This makes Liberty one of only 19 schools across the nation selected to receive this honor in recognition of their strong commitment to helping students complete their college applications and continue their education.
“Our office is so proud to work with high schools across West Virginia, every single day, to help more young people pursue their college and career goals,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see a stand-out school like Liberty High School be recognized nationally for their work in helping their students achieve more. Congratulations to the Raiders – you deserve this!”
The American College Application Campaign (ACAC) – a national initiative of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning – works to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families pursuing a college degree or other form of higher education after graduation. Nearly 5,170 high schools hosted College Application Campaign events nationwide in coordination with the ACAC last year.
“Congratulations to the 2021 Schools of Excellence, as they are exemplars of commitment to student success,” ACT CEO Janet Godwin said. “These educators, along with American College Application Campaign collaborators nationwide, are doing critical work to help students discover and fulfill their potential, even as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts a third academic year. Their commitment should compel us all to listen to and learn from these schools and share their successful approaches with other schools and educators, states and districts, and policymakers across the country.”
“In the face of so many challenges that students and educators continue to experience, it’s encouraging to see the support from everyone who played a role in making the Schools of Excellence leaders in the college-going effort,” ACAC Director Lisa King said. “Their work encouraging high school seniors to pursue postsecondary education and workforce plans despite ongoing uncertainty due to the pandemic matters because higher education will determine the future of our nation. We’re proud the Schools of Excellence are helping to remove the barriers to postsecondary education access that often drive income inequities.”
Student participation at Liberty High School in college preparation programs increased leaps and bounds with the use of tools like CFWV.com; through initiatives such as College Application and Exploration Week (CAEW), College Decision Day, and FAFSA completion events; and with the dedicated and creative staff and faculty over the last several years.
Liberty High School substantially improved its previous year’s percentage of seniors completing a postsecondary application during CAEW by approximately a third. Within two months of the FAFSA opening, Liberty High School met the statewide FAFSA completion rate of 60 percent and continues growing that number. Additionally, Liberty High School was honored with the title of CFWV’s Champion of College Access and Success three years in a row, and the school is currently working toward earning the distinguished title for a fourth year.
More than 78,000 students in West Virginia participated in CAEW, which was held last November. Each year through this initiative, students from pre-school to adult learners across the state participate in hands-on college planning activities, including college application workshops, panel discussions with current college students, scavenger hunts, and trivia contests. They also learn about the many postsecondary options available to them – from certificate, career and technical programs to two-year degree programs, four-year degree programs, and the military.
West Virginia’s college readiness programs are coordinated by CFWV, which is a college- and career-planning initiative managed by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in conjunction with the state’s Community and Technical College System and Department of Education.
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