CTC system hopes to improve going-rate of WV high school grads

CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†West Virginia’s community and technical colleges want West Virginia high school graduates to know they’ve been automatically accepted into any school in the system.

State CTC system Chancellor Sarah Tucker said the system mailed letters to most high school grads last spring and are hopeful those results will pay off as classes begin over the next several days.

CTC Chancellor Sarah Tucker

With the current high school graduate going rate at community and technical colleges hovering around 10 percent, some dramatic improvements are needed, Tucker said. She began by looking at similar systems outside of West Virginia.

“This is one (program) that seems to be highly successful in other states,” Tucker said. “We just said to all the high grads, ‘We want you to come here. We believe in you and you’ve been accepted to our community and technical colleges,'” Tucker said.

In states where the automatic registration is well-developed the increase in high school enrollment has been 17 percent. Tucker said a more realistic jump in West Virginia would be five to seven percent.

“We did not have addresses for all high school graduates. We hope to next year,” she said.

Retention rates have improved at community and technical colleges in recent years especially after the system changed the way it handles its developmental education programs.

“We are getting students through more quickly,” Tucker said. “Any high school graduate has the ability to prosper and do well in our community colleges and there are lots of programs out there for them that they probably don’t even know about that would lead them directly into the workforce in West Virginia.”

Those who take advantage of being “automatically accepted” will still have to make sure their FAFSA is completed and register for classes.

Tucker said she’s hopeful the push will work.

“We had several dozen phone calls about it from the central office, people calling and being surprised that they were admitted into school and wondering about what the programs were,” Tucker said.

Those seeking more information are asked to call 1-866-TWO-YEAR.

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