MADISON, WI – Middle and high school students joined First Lady Jessica Doyle today at the Allied Drive Boys & Girls Club in Fitchburg to launch the KnowHow2GO campaign. Sponsored nationally by the American Council on Education (ACE), Lumina Foundation for Education and the Ad Council, KnowHow2GO encourages and prepares low-income students in grades 8-10 to actively pursue higher education.
“Wisconsin’s middle and high school students want to go to college, but many of them don’t know how they’re going to get there. That’s where KnowHow2GO can play a vital role,” said Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle. “The first step is to encourage students to find someone who can help to guide them through the process. As a parent, teacher and learning coordinator at a middle school, I know how critical it is for kids to have someone who can cheer them on and help them to find the information they need. Beginning today, KnowHow2GO Wisconsin will also be there for all Wisconsin students.”
University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities President Rolf Wegenke, and Wisconsin Technical College System President Dan Clancy told the audience that their organizations, along with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, had pooled their state-specific information on preparing for college at a new website, www.KnowHow2GOWisconsin.org. The interactive site links students and caring adults to local resources and college access professionals that can provide hands-on assistance.
“It’s a privilege for the UW System to work with such prestigious national organizations like ACE, Lumina Foundation and the Ad Council on this worthwhile program,” said Reilly. “KnowHow2GO wonderfully compliments the UW’s Growth Agenda for Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Covenant. This is one more way that we can convince more Wisconsin families and students that they need to go to college, and that a college education is within their reach. Furthermore, it will help provide them with specific information they need to know—both financial and academic—to get there.”
KnowHow2GO was founded on the knowledge that teens from all walks of life have college aspirations. In fact, eight out of ten expect to attain a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Still, in Wisconsin, the gap in college participation between whites and other ethnic groups is significant. Currently, 37 out of 100 white young adults are enrolled in college, compared with 25 out of 100 young adults from other ethnic groups. Studies show that these students realize the importance of a college degree, but often lack the guidance they need to pursue a postsecondary education.
“KnowHow2Go will help students find and prepare for the college or university that is right for them,” said Wegenke. “We are happy to link our interactive website, WisconsinMentor.org, to KnowHow2GOWisconsin. In addition to information on Wisconsin’s private colleges and universities, WisconsinMentor offers free online test preparation for the ACT, SAT, and GRE. KnowHow2GOWisconsin will provide a one-stop shop for students to learn about all their postsecondary options, both public and private—and will also make sure they’re aware of what they need to do to be ready for college.”
KnowHow2GO helps students learn the steps to college through television, radio and outdoor public service advertisements (PSAs), and an interactive Web site. Wisconsin-specific PSAs will soon air on television and radio stations throughout the state. To ensure that students and adult mentors who encounter the powerful messages of the PSA campaign can connect with local experts on college readiness, KnowHow2GO Wisconsin will try to build a strong grassroots network of partners, like Boys & Girls Clubs, that can personally guide students through the “four steps” to college.
The Four Steps to College:
- Be a pain – Tell everyone you know that you’re going to college and need their help.
- Push yourself – Study hard and get good grades.
- Find the right fit – Find out what kind of school is the best match for you and your career goals.
- Put your hands on some cash – If you think you can’t afford college, think again. There’s lots of aid out there.
“Improving access to postsecondary education and lifelong learning opportunities for all Wisconsin residents is key to Wisconsin’s future,” said Clancy. “We are excited to be a part of KnowHow2GO Wisconsin because it will help kids make their dreams come true. It gives them new ways of exploring the wide variety of colleges choices and programs available in Wisconsin and, most importantly, concrete advice about what they need to do to get ready for college, whether at a technical college or one of our state’s other fine colleges and universities,” Clancy said.