JCPS, Columbia College form partnership

Dr. Tina Dalrymple from Columbia College poses with Brian Mitchell, Jefferson City Public Schools superintendent.

Dr. Tina Dalrymple from Columbia College poses with Brian Mitchell, Jefferson City Public Schools superintendent.

Leaders at the Jefferson City Public Schools and Columbia College announced Tuesday they have forged a deeper relationship.

The new partnership is intended to give younger students a glimpse at what life is like on a college campus and give the college’s recruiters a chance to make their case to students.

“It’s a new opportunity for us to work with JCPS,” said Sam Fleury, the assistant director of public and alumni relations. “It’s a formalization of our relationship, with more resources” expended.

Columbia College will send trainers to Jefferson City to help teens hone their resumes, prepare for interviews and teach them about the complex task of filling out federal student aid forms. The college also plans to send volunteers to help with JCPS events like the staff barbecue, scheduled for Friday night.

Fleury said college leaders plan to contribute grants to JCPS teachers and offer scholarships to students. He noted the college has special relationships with other area schools in Columbia and Ashland and, soon, Father Tolton Catholic High School.

“We want to get their (JCPS) students on campus as much as possible and expose them to what Columbia College has to offer,” he said.

From the Jefferson City school leaders’ perspective, the relationship will serve as an opportunity to expose more young people to the possibilities of higher education.

Superintendent Brian Mitchell said the partnership represents “unlimited possibilities.”

With more access to higher education, students will better be able to see the opportunities that await them upon graduation, he said. And he said he’s eager to be more involved in the college’s teacher preparation programming to boost recruiting prospects.

“What we want, as a district, is to see all of our kids setting goals for life after high school,” he said. “We want to help them prepare for setting the life-goals that will take additional training to accomplish.”

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