e-book Access, Opportunity, and Success: Keeping the Promise of Higher Education

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Casazza and Sharon L. Silverman have been listening to the stories of students for the past five years, and they share how high achievers have overcome obstacles. Throughout the interviews, students told the authors having someone believe in them was key to their success. Find out what else made a difference in their lives by listening closely to Student Voices. This book offers a fundamental truth: If you listen carefully when students talk, you will learn a great deal.

Casazza and Silverman listened, and the result is both a celebration of student achievement and a model for how to foster it.

This is what we as educators need to hear and heed if we truly want to succeed in our efforts to improve education. Casazza has coauthored two books with Dr. Sharon L.

Along with Dr. Formats Softcover. Other Book By Author.

Dreaming Forward. Book Details.

Access Opportunity and Success: Keeping the Promise of Higher Education

Thanks to NC Promise, Jasmine is now receiving a top-notch education at a university that is also close to home. Through the NC Promise tuition plan, more students can now earn a college degree without the burden of student debt. NC Promise lowers financial burden, helps student get more engaged, earn double major Growing up in a single-parent household, Jorden Revels has been financially independent since enrolling in the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to pursue a degree in environmental psychology.

In high school, Jorden faced financial barriers, and at times, homelessness, which often made college seem out of reach. However, the financial burden of tuition made it difficult at times to focus on his studies and stay engaged in the UNC Pembroke community. With NC Promise, the financial burden of tuition has been lightened, allowing Jorden and other UNC Pembroke students to become more engaged in the community and student organizations than ever before.

NC Promise helps one student avoid debt as he prepares for a career in public service As a student at Piedmont High School in Unionville, NC, Aron Kleinschrodt signed up for a senior year fire academy program, and he was hooked. The Piedmont program set him up to hit the ground running. Before graduation he was certified as a firefighter for the state of North Carolina. He could work almost anywhere. But his parents — one an occupational therapist and one a school psychologist — convinced Kleinschrodt that a college degree would open doors that would be closed to him otherwise.

Still, he was worried about the cost.


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Then, at a college fair in Charlotte he was given a brochure for a new program from the state of North Carolina called NC Promise. One of the schools included in the program, Western Carolina University, had already been on his radar.


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For Kleinschrodt, being in the mountains was about more than his love for the outdoors. He knew that improving his skills in outdoor sports would translate well into work as a firefighter, especially working in rural communities or in forest land.

We Promise

Plus, WCU offers majors in parks and recreation, emergency disaster management, and emergency medical care, all of which would apply well to his hopeful career. Thanks to NC Promise, Kleinschrodt plans to use the savings account his grandfather set aside for the first two years of school and save up for his upperclassman years. He hopes to be able to graduate without student debt. That means a lot to Kleinschrodt as he considers a career that is focused more on service than salary.

Not only has Natalya been able to pursue a degree in business administration through this affordable program, but the tuition savings she realized allowed her to take part in the traditional college experience by living on campus her first year and purchase her first car.

Dr. Martha Casazza

While UNC Pembroke feels like home to her now, Natalya is thankful that NC Promise gave her the opportunity to be molded by her professors into a competitive professional who can thrive in her future career. Education unlocks the future for our youth. The more affordable it is, the more accessible it is. My students choose to pursue a college degree for many different reasons. Some want to expand their knowledge of subjects that inspire them in high school. Others are first-generation college students who are looking for more career options and the opportunity to improve their economic outlook.

All of them want the chance for a brighter future, and education is the key. Despite the desire to pursue a two- or four-year degree, the reality is that many families are overwhelmed by the cost of college. Their ultimate concern is the availability of financial aid, scholarships, and other funds to finance higher education.

The lack of knowledge about how to navigate the financial aid and the college application processes are huge barriers that stand in the way of students pursuing a postsecondary options. As a school counselor, I feel it is my job to help guide students and parents through the college-going process. Our department works to educate students and families about the options available to them through ongoing communication, as well as individual and group counseling services.

Furthermore, the geographic location of the schools makes them accessible throughout the state. The Fixed Tuition Plan helps families and students budget appropriately, knowing that their tuition will remain at a fixed rate throughout their four-year tenure in college, and helps provide a more accurate view of what higher education will cost over time. My daughter is in her first semester at a UNC school, so this plan is great for me.

By far, the best part of my job is the students. GEAR UP provides academic and financial aid advising, tutoring, college field trips and other activities that help students prepare for college. Its Imagine College Summer Scholar Institute and Upward Bound program helps aspiring students experience what it's like to live and learn on a college campus.

Lewis points out a new program designed to support students once they are enrolled: the CS-in-3, which allows students to earn a Computer Science degree in three years. While each promise program includes unique components that reflect the local school and university community, common requirements for student participation include: completion of all "a-g" college preparatory course requirements and achievement of CSU admission eligibility; demonstration of college-readiness in English and mathematics prior to enrollment; attendance, participation and continuous enrollment benchmarks; and an application for federal and state financial aid programs.

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Opening Doors of Opportunity

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