(Ashland, Ore.) — A new intergovernmental agreement between Southern Oregon University and the Medford School District (MSD) will be “a game-changer for college awareness and access,” providing the basic contact information of MSD high school students so the university can offer them timely enrollment guidance and opportunities.
“What this will do is allow us to promote college attendance to all of the Medford School District’s students,” said SOU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Neil Woolf, who described arrangements of this type as rare.
“This will help with improving access to and awareness of college possibilities for all students,” Woolf said. “It will improve access to college for underrepresented students in a number of ways, and it’s a testament to the good working relationship the Medford School District and SOU have built together.”
Medford School District Superintendent Bret Champion said the goal of the new intergovernmental agreement is to give students in the district access to information that may help them discover life-changing academic pathways. The arrangement is intended to increase college attendance among Medford students.
“In the Medford School District, we have a shared vision: ALL are learning and learning is for ALL,” Champion said. “This partnership helps bring that shared vision to life for our students. SOU plays a key role in providing options for our students that are open and hopeful, in addition to guiding students to own their present and future. We are grateful for their partnership.”
SOU President Rick Bailey echoed the appreciation. “We are very excited about this new agreement, and are grateful to Superintendent Champion and his incredible team,” President Bailey said. “I am confident that this will become the new statewide role model for collaboration between public and higher education.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the school district will provide basic “directory information” about its students – name, school, mailing address, school email address, phone numbers and grade level or expected year of graduation. The document specifies 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 schools not to disclose the information.
The agreement says the school district and university recognize the importance of “seamless transitions from secondary to postsecondary institutions,” and both are “committed to improving the options for K-12 students to succeed in college and be career-ready.”