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College and university presidents sign historic agreement on Ohio River
Web site to create one-stop shop for educational choices in region

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 6, 2006) -- Nine universities and colleges in the Appalachia region gave new meaning to being "on board" with each other on Monday, Dec. 4, in Ashland, Ky. 

Click to watch videoAboard a barge in the Ohio River, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis joined other college presidents, provost and deans in signing a memo of understanding that forges a historic educational coalition. 

The MOU, which Ohio University Vice President for University Outreach and Regional Campuses Charles Bird and Ohio University Southern Dean Dan Evans authored, formalizes the Educate the Tri-State initiative. One of the commitments among the institutions is to work together to secure more state and regional funding for shared initiatives.

There is also a regional economic motivation.

"The driver of the initiative is to create a better educated workforce for the available jobs in the region," Bird said.

"As institutions of higher learning, we have a social responsibility to the citizens in our region to open the doors of opportunity and the best way we can open those doors is to create greater access to higher education," McDavis said. "The Educate the Tri-State partnership will help citizens in our region successfully compete in today's global fast-paced economy."

"The goal of Educate the Tri-State is to expand access to education in the region by making prospective students aware of the many educational opportunities available to them," Bird said. 

Photo courtesy of Ohio University Southern  CampusPrior to the symbolic ceremony on the river, Bird conducted a demonstration of the Educate the Tri-State Web site (www.educatethetristate.com) at a luncheon held at the Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky. 

"The Web site, which was developed by a committee made up of administrators from each institution, serves as a valuable resource for prospective students and parents," said Pam Wise, Ohio University Southern public information officer. 

"Prospective students can search the Educate the Tri-State Web site various ways including by career interest or what programs are available," Bird said. 

They can also learn about institutions' joint program offerings, degree requirements and transfer, market research on such things as job opportunities and trends, the educational and financial needs of the area, and other types of helpful information. 

In January, Educate the Tri-State will host an informational luncheon for area high school guidance counselors and administrators. The counselors will have an opportunity to evaluate the Web site and suggest to members of the Educate the Tri-State committee other information that could be added to make it a more effective tool.   

Universities and colleges participating in the initiative include: 

  • Ashland Community and Technical College (Ky.)
  • Marshall Community and Technical College (W.Va.)
  • Marshall University (W.Va.)
  • Morehead State University (Ky.)
  • Morehead State University at Ashland (Ky.)
  • Ohio University (Ohio)
  • Ohio University Southern (Ohio)
  • Rio Grande Community College (Ohio)
  • Shawnee State University (Ohio)

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy at 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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