The OACHE awards two-year Access Project grants to K-12 schools in the 29-county Appalachian Ohio region on a competitive basis for activities that encourage students to consider and prepare for college. Access grantees provide career planning and financial aid resources, field trips to businesses and college campuses, guest speakers and other resources to help students and parents make informed decisions, starting as early as 5th grade.
Schools may submit a “Model” program proposal or an “Innovative” program proposal, or both. By submitting a Model proposal, schools are committing to implement all components of the highly successful model program developed by Mr. Pat Cadle, former guidance counselor at Newcomerstown High School in Tuscarawas County. Using this model, Newcomerstown High School increased its college-going rate from 28 percent to 72 percent in only three years. The model has been successfully replicated in numerous other schools including Southern Local High School in Meigs County, where the college-going rate exceeded 90 percent in 2001.
An Innovative proposal may use some or all components of the model program, with any modifications appropriate for a school’s unique circumstances. For instance, activities and timelines in the model program are designed for a four-year high school and will not be completely transferable to vocational and elementary schools. Nevertheless, applicants are strongly encouraged to use as many components of the proven model program as possible.
Key to the success of any Access Project is total school buy-in from administrators, teachers, support staff (including bus drivers, cooks and custodial personnel) and students. A successful application will demonstrate the authentic buy-i8n of all these groups to the proposed project.
Grant proposals are solicited every other year, and projects may receive funding for up to two years. The application period for the 2007-09 OACHE Access Project grant cycle took place in Spring 2007.