Jan. 18, 2018
A program that has successfully increased the number of Columbus students graduating and enrolling in college is being expanded to two suburbs under a contract with Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services.
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted today to approve a $871,833.39 contract with the provider I Know I Can for expansion of the program to two suburban districts. I Know I Can has worked with Columbus schools for more than 30 years, but will now be expanded into the Whitehall City Schools and the South-Western City Schools districts.
I Know I Can utilizes college advisors and success coaches who work with students on a one-on-one basis to help high school students reach milestones that are common indicators of success. For example, one of the goals under this contract is to have half of 9th, 10th and 11th graders complete college and career assessments.
The contract with I Know I Can aims for measurable success. The contract has a goal to increase the number of students who enroll in college by 20 percent and having as many as 2,100 students assisted with college or career readiness.
With greater needs than many other districts in the region, the students in both Whitehall and South-Western can greatly benefit from the additional academic assistance to help them complete high school and be successful in college or the career of their choice, which is why the two districts are being targeted first, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services Director Joy Bivens said.
The hands-on guidance these coaches and advisors will provide is expected to be an aide for students – many of whom deal with other barriers in life.
“With nearly a quarter of our youth in Franklin County living in poverty, they benefit from programs like these to provide additional help,” Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown said. “Research has shown time and again how investing in our youth today will allow us all - students and county residents alike- to reap benefits later.”
Students will get involved with a college-career plan, be assessed for their college-readiness, be provided workshops and training, and helped with other skills.
It’s programming that is greatly needed, Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady said.
“High School counselors are already overwhelmed. It is estimated that in these school districts each student only receives about 20 minutes with a counselor during their entire high school career to help with career or college advising. Our youth need and deserve more,” O’Grady said.
FCDJFS is a county, state and federal-supported agency responsible for basic financial, medical and social service programs. These programs are made available to ensure that no one is forced to go without the basic essentials of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and necessary life sustaining services because of a lack of resources.
Contacts: Jodi Andes, Deputy Director of Communications at Job and Family Services 614-233-2116, or [email protected]