GHC/Elma School District part of new partnership for student learning

Elma students will see some new learning opportunities through a new partnership.

Grays Harbor College announced that they and the Elma School District, along with educational partners Clover Park Technical College, the Washington State University School of Medicine, and AJAC Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeships, have been selected as one of 25 regional partnerships to join Limitless, a Postsecondary Enrollment Learning Network managed by Education First with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The college tells KXRO that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that nearly 90% of Washington high schoolers say they want to continue their education after high school, but only 50% of graduates enroll in post-secondary programs. 

“The barriers for students wanting to attend college vary, but lack of career advising and the cost of education are two significant barriers for some students.”

The Limitless Learning Network will focus on better understanding barriers, and finding solutions that work. 

The college says that the program takes place over the next four years and brings together K-12 and higher education partners across Washington state in virtual learning sessions, in person training, and working groups. Together they will share resources, explore new ideas, and create opportunities for more students to successfully transition from high school to college. 

Focuses include connecting the students to a variety of post-secondary opportunities through “seeing it” and “living it” in “dual programs such as apprenticeships and Running Start, career and college advising, assistance with financial aid (FAFSA/WAFSA) completion, and more”.

GHC Director of Educational Partnerships, K-12 Outreach & Recruitment Lori Christmas said that she is “excited about our partnership vision and the opportunity to better serve our students and communities. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Education First, and 25 partnerships that cover all of Washington State, we truly have Limitless Learning possibilities!”

The first meeting of the partnership took place Nov. 13 and 14 at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.