Higher ed consortium to aid in college prep

Bluegrass Tomorrow has received a check for $35,000 to help continue its work with the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium. The contribution comes from the Bluegrass Area Development District (BGADD), whose board is comprised of area judge executives and mayors.

Bluegrass Tomorrow formed the higher education consortium in 2012. It is comprised of 12 public and private colleges and universities in Central Kentucky. They are: Asbury University, Berea College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Midway College, Morehead State University, Kentucky State University, Sullivan University, Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky.

“This is a program the Bluegrass Area Development District strongly believes in. Our executive board voted unanimously to present this check,” said Edwinna Baker, mayor of Lawrenceburg and chair of BGADD, as she awarded the check.

Ron Tritschler, CEO at the Webb Companies and chair of Bluegrass Tomorrow, told the audience of educators and business and community leaders that they should be proud of what the consortium is trying to accomplish.

“This is one of the most important initiatives Bluegrass Tomorrow has ever been involved in. Our children are probably our most importance asset in the Bluegrass and I think this program will enhance their lives. This will improve educational opportunities and help them become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Rob Rumpke, president and CEO of Bluegrass Tomorrow, praised the cooperative spirit. “What we developed is a great network of communication between the (college) presidents in the higher education consortium, local school superintendents and the business community.”

The higher education consortium was formed last February. In late October, the consortium hosted a first-ever summit involving the presidents of the 12 member colleges and universities and the school superintendents from 18 counties in the region.

Education administrators, teachers, business leaders, parents and students also participated.

The consortium co-chair, Dr. Doug Whitlock, president of Eastern Kentucky University, said the candor exhibited by the speakers at the summit was both refreshing and illuminating.

“No one held anything back,” recalled Whitlock. He mentioned how a community college student related how difficult it was as a high school student to learn about educational opportunities and how someone had told her that higher education was not for her. Whitlock also said it was useful to hear business leaders speak out about the educational shortcomings of some Kentucky high school graduates.

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