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Success Summit: education after 12th grade essential in current economy

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Success Summit: education after 12th grade essential in current economy
By WV MetroNews Staff

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- At a two-day summit in Morgantown, 500 education administrators, teachers, students, military members and community representatives brainstorm methods to inspire an interest in learning beyond 12th grade.

“An education after high school, whether that be a 2-year or 4-year, is essential. It’s an opportunity. It’s available and it’s affordable,” said Dr. Adam Green, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. ” We know that more and more jobs require some type of credential after high school.”

The 5th annual Success Summit theme is “Reach Higher”.

The challenge among conference participants is to meet 21st century job demands.

Less than 30 percent of the state’s population has credentials beyond high school. According to Green, to maintain our current economy, 51 percent of West Virginians need additional training after graduation. That doesn’t always mean a 4-year degree.

“It’s what’s the best fit and match for student be he or she a traditional 18 year old, someone leaving the military or an adult who chooses to return to the classroom,” Green said.

In a recent column by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, he wrote, “Current projections show 60 percent of new jobs in the energy, advanced manufacturing and information technology industry sectors will require at least a 2-year degree, while 74 percent of those jobs will require a form of post-secondary education.”

Grade school teachers are among those at the Success Summit. Some are presenting methods they use as early as third grade to get students interested in education beyond high school.

Four high schools, Berkeley Springs, Hedgesville, John Marshall and Oak Glen, are represented by students who will participate in the Youth Summit. They will train to be Higher Education Readiness Officers (HERO).

“Really, they are the change agents within their communities to help get this word out and help empower their communities to know education is the key to changing not just an individual’s life but an entire community’s life,” Green noted.

The Success Summit is July 29 and 30 at the Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center in Morgantown.