College access agreement signed by SOU, Grants Pass schools

Grants Pass schools sign college access agreement with SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Grants Pass School District and Southern Oregon University finalized an intergovernmental agreement on Friday that will make college admission information more widely available to students. The district will make basic contact information for Grants Pass  high school students available to SOU, which will promote college attendance and provide timely enrollment guidance – improving college access, especially for traditionally underserved students.

The arrangement is the third in a series of the rare agreements that SOU has negotiated over the past few weeks with southern Oregon school districts. The university signed identical pacts with the Medford and Ashland districts.

“These agreements illustrate our commitment to work in partnership with school districts throughout our region to make high school students aware of the opportunities that are available to them,” said SOU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Neil Woolf. “Many students mistakenly believe that college is beyond their means. We want them to know that the life-changing benefits of a college education are accessible to virtually any student with the desire to achieve.”

Woolf said that communicating more efficiently with the region’s high school students – and encouraging more of them to attain their educational goals – will improve the prospects of students and communities throughout southern Oregon.

SOU President Rick Bailey said partnerships such as those with the local school districts lead to focused efforts on areas of mutual interest. “We all agree that helping people achieve their academic goals and become career-ready is good for the students, the schools, the university and the region,” Bailey said. “Relationship-building is the first step toward achieving the result that benefits us all. It is our intention to offer similar partnerships with every interested school district in the region and beyond.”

The Grants Pass school district will provide SOU with basic “directory information” about its students – name, school, mailing address, school email address, phone numbers and grade level or expected year of graduation. The agreement ensures that the district and university will comply with all federal and state privacy laws, and that no information will be provided about students whose parents have asked their school not to disclose the information.