Steve Perry, an author and educator, gives the keynote address at the See You @ College conference in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
Steve Perry, an author and educator, gives the keynote address at the See You @ College conference in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
Panel members discuss ways of encouraging young people to attend college during the See You @ College conference in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Pictured are (from left to right) Carol LaSpina, parent; Victor Ruiz, executive director of Esperanza Inc.; Kwame Scruggs, Ph.D., founder of Alchemy Inc.; and Carol Rivchun, president of Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
Panel members discuss ways of encouraging young people to attend college during the See You @ College conference in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Pictured are (from left to right) Carol LaSpina, parent; Victor Ruiz, executive director of Esperanza Inc.; Kwame Scruggs, Ph.D., founder of Alchemy Inc.; and Carol Rivchun, president of Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
Panelists at the See You @ College conference are recognized for their contributions by Rev. Ronald J. Fowler (far left), special assistant to the president at Kent State, and Iris Harvey (far right), vice president for university relations at Kent State.
Panelists at the See You @ College conference are recognized for their contributions by Rev. Ronald J. Fowler (far left), special assistant to the president at Kent State, and Iris Harvey (far right), vice president for university relations at Kent State.
An audience member offers feedback during a panel discussion about why college is important and how society can make it an expectation for students now and in the future.
An audience member offers feedback during a panel discussion about why college is important and how society can make it an expectation for students now and in the future.
Cara White (far left), an academic program officer at Kent State’s Duel Enrollment Programs, offers input regarding dual enrollment, Upward Bound and Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Programs.
Cara White (far left), an academic program officer at Kent State’s Duel Enrollment Programs, offers input regarding dual enrollment, Upward Bound and Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Programs.
  • Steve Perry, an author and educator, gives the keynote address at the See You @ College conference in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
  • Panel members discuss ways of encouraging young people to attend college during the See You @ College conference in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Pictured are (from left to right) Carol LaSpina, parent; Victor Ruiz, executive director of Esperanza Inc.; Kwame Scruggs, Ph.D., founder of Alchemy Inc.; and Carol Rivchun, president of Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
  • Panelists at the See You @ College conference are recognized for their contributions by Rev. Ronald J. Fowler (far left), special assistant to the president at Kent State, and Iris Harvey (far right), vice president for university relations at Kent State.
  • An audience member offers feedback during a panel discussion about why college is important and how society can make it an expectation for students now and in the future.
  • Cara White (far left), an academic program officer at Kent State’s Duel Enrollment Programs, offers input regarding dual enrollment, Upward Bound and Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Programs.

Kent State University hosted a one-day conference bringing together 300 community organizations and leaders to discuss ways to increase college enrollment and graduation of first-generation and academically motivated students in Northeast Ohio. The See You @ College conference took place on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The conference was free and was open to high school and college educators and administrators, community leaders, educational organizations and more.

The conference’s keynote luncheon speaker was Steve Perry, Ed.D., author, principal and CNN education contributor. Perry is the founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn., which has been cited by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top schools in the country. Capital Prep has sent 100 percent of its predominantly low-income, minority, first-generation high school graduates to four-year colleges every year since its first class graduated in 2006. Perry is a strong advocate of personal and civic responsibility in all aspects of life. He emphasizes the social issues that aim at building up both the individual and the community so that the next generation can be better contributing members of society. His secrets to success and calls to action are in his book, “Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve – Even If It Means Picking a Fight.”

About See You @ College

The See You @ College: Northeast Ohio Pathways to Success is an inclusive, long-term college access collaborative initiative designed to engage community leaders and organizations to become involved in guiding and assisting first-generation families and their students in finding more pathways to a college education.

“The See You @ College initiative was the vision of Rev. Ron Fowler, special assistant to the president on community engagement, and Iris Harvey, vice president for university relations, who initially sought to increase college access for students by working with faith-based organizations,” said Said Sewell, Ph.D., assistant provost. “Their efforts were in line with Complete College America and Complete College Ohio that noted that young people either are not going to college or attending but not graduating because they are not well-prepared. The Complete College Ohio taskforce further noted that if the state of Ohio is to stay competitive in the global market, it is imperative that the state, by 2020, increases its total number of college graduates by at least 56 percent, or 845,000 people. See You @ College is one of Kent State’s efforts toward that goal.”

About the Conference

The conference, which is a collaboration with other Northeast Ohio institutions of higher learning and nonprofits, is intended to engage community leaders in discussions with a diversity of other leaders who are engaged daily in promoting the value of a college degree. The See You @ College framework is to harness the power of those in a community who have contact with and are trusted by families and to further empower them with information, resources and tools about higher education so that they can be part of the emotional and motivational support system that many families need in order to get their first-generation students prepared and enrolled in college.

Among the panelists at the conference were representatives from across the Kent State campuses. There was also an exhibit area where Kent State units and other organizations displayed materials about their programs.

Breakout sessions at the conference explored topics such as “Dual Enrollment, Upward Bound, Post-Secondary Educational Opportunity Programs,” “Why Is College Important and How Do We Make It an Expectation?,” “Making Dreams a Reality: Finding the Best Fit” and “The Holistic Impact of Education Attainment.”

Learn More About See You @ College

Watch a short video that shows the testimonials of first-generation college students to learn why the See You @ College initiative is important to Kent State.

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