S.D. students receive postsecondary materials The families of nearly 56,000 middle and high school students across South Dakota will receive a special mailing this week, with the message: it is never too early to prepare for a student's life after high school.
The South Dakota Board of Regents is sending the South Dakota CollegePrep planning packet to all public school students in grades 7-12. "The goal is simple � helping South Dakota students prepare for their future by making the right decisions about life after high school," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett.
Last year, the state Legislature authorized the Regents to obtain the names and mailing addresses of public school students to inform them about postsecondary education options and career planning. From that beginning, the South Dakota CollegePrep packet was developed. In addition, a comprehensive Web site at www.sdcollegeprep.info contains the same information, plus much more, which can be accessed by anyone. The Web site also provides links to hundreds of resources on postsecondary preparation and planning. In addition, a toll-free telephone number (1-866-COL-PREP) has been set up to answer questions from students or their parents about postsecondary planning.
The CollegePrep mailer includes several important messages for students and their families:
* The importance of students taking eighth-grade algebra and four years of mathematics in high school. Research indicates a student's math preparation may be the single best indicator of success in postsecondary education.
* A South Dakota CollegePrep model program of study for grades 8-12.
* Lifetime income is influenced considerably by education level � an average of $99,300 a year for professional degree holders, such as doctors, lawyers and engineers, compared to $25,900 for high school graduates.
* Families may save for college through South Dakota's new CollegeAccess529 higher education savings plan.
"This service project is the latest collaboration between the Board of Regents and K-12 education," Robert T. Tad Perry, the regents' executive director said. "The board has enjoyed a long history of working cooperatively with K-12 educators in this state." Christie Johnson, executive director of the School Administrators of South Dakota, also praised the collaborative project. "A lot of effort has gone into this, and it is one more way that we can help provide the best possible educational preparation for our South Dakota students," Johnson said.
Perry also pointed out the intent is not to market a particular university or system, but rather to highlight all the postsecondary options available to South Dakota students.
"With 80 percent of graduating high school seniors planning on some type of postsecondary education, South Dakota has ample opportunities at its public universities, private colleges, tribal institutions, and postsecondary technical institutes," he said.
Advisory councils representing parents and school counselors helped the Regents' staff develop the South Dakota CollegePrep materials and Web site. In addition, valuable input was received from the Department of Education & Cultural Affairs, School Administrators of South Dakota, South Dakota Parent-Teacher Association, South Dakota Counselors Association, and school superintendents across the state.