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PRESS RELEASE

Monday, April 02, 2007

Jennifer Fennell
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Blomberg Announces

“Go Higher—Get Accepted” CAMPAIGN
~Campaign helps high school seniors enroll at community colleges~

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced the launch of a new campaign, “Go Higher—Get Accepted,” to help high school seniors enroll at a community college in Florida before graduation.

“It is vitally important for students to continue their education after high school,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “Nearly 90 percent of students say they want to pursue more education after graduation, but only half of them do. This campaign helps students understand their options and achieve their goals.”

The Florida Department of Education and FACTS.org, Florida’s online student advising system, are coordinating the statewide campaign. During April, a team of 23 community college administrators will visit 94 high schools throughout Florida. These teams will help students assess their career interests, choose the type of degree or certificate to pursue, submit an application for admission and apply for financial aid. FACTS.org is coordinating the statewide campaign and providing promotional support with Web pages, direct mail pieces, posters and other materials. It is expected that the campaign will successfully reach more than 32,000 students.

"Community colleges are a great opportunity for all Florida students to get a quality education at an affordable price,” said Community College Chancellor David Armstrong. “We encourage every high school student to enroll in their local community college and achieve the American Dream through a great college education that will lead to an outstanding career and higher quality of life."

The campaign is modeled after the 2006 “College Connection” program at Austin Community College at San Marcos High School in Texas. In the first year of the program, the percentage of San Marcos students enrolled at Austin Community College increased from 34 to 45 percent. That program has now expanded to include 22 of the 30 districts in Austin’s service area. Several other community colleges in Texas are now considering modeling their programs after the Austin program.

“Florida saw an opportunity to borrow a campaign that was so successful in Texas and apply it here in Florida,” said FACTS.org Executive Director Connie Graunke, Ph.D. “Our goal is that every high school senior, by the time they walk across the stage to get their diploma, will have received a letter of acceptance to a college or university. That will make the next step of going to college easier.”

For a list of “Go Higher—Get Accepted” events, including participating community colleges and high schools, visit www.FACTS.org.