Gannon University and GO College Collaborate
Posted: June 20, 2013
There was a time when gum was not
permitted in school. These days, though, GUMs are
They're the Gannon University Mentors (GUMs) who are helping to
create opportunities for low-income, first-generation, and minority
students at Erie's Strong Vincent High School as part of the
Gaining Options for College (GO College) program.
GO College, a collaborative venture
of the Erie School District, Gannon University and the GE
Foundation, is a national data-driven initiative that brings
communities together to increase college access and success through
academic enrichment, college exposure and service-learning.
Gannon's participation on the GO College program, which is
coordinated by the Washington, D.C.-based Council for Opportunity
in Education, is facilitated by the
University's Erie-Gannon Alliance to
Improve Neighborhood Sustainability (Erie-GAINS) initiative.
Last month, a three-day conference hosted by Keith Taylor, Ph.D.,
president of Gannon University, brought together federal and
community agencies and educators from Erie and Louisville, Ky. to
review the process and to begin a conversation to expand the
efforts put forth by GO College and other educational initiatives.
Among the findings in Erie are:
- Nearly 100% of students participating in the Erie School
District GO College program applied to colleges and
universities. Within the total population at participating
schools, that proportion was 46%.
- Tardiness and unexplained absences among GO College
participants were lower than those of the total school population,
along with was attendance, and attendance rates
- Attendance rates among GO College students increased from the
participants' sophomore to senior years and were higher than those
of the total school population.
In addition to the GUMs at Strong
Vincent, Gannon participates in the program by providing more
intensive services to specific participating student groups. A
range of activities, including college fairs and tours, tutoring,
workshops on financial aid and individual counseling are made
available to the students enrolled in the program throughout their
high school careers.
Kevin Richardson, who will be a
senior at Strong Vincent this fall, summed up the contribution of
his mentors this way: "Grades are always a struggle for me,
but the GUMs help me every day. They teach me to fix my
problems, stick with my grades and with my school work."
Erie-GAINS is a long-term, mutually
beneficial community initiative designed to expand the University's
efforts to support the common good of the neighborhoods surrounding
the campus. Points of emphasis for Erie-GAINS programming
include education, health and wellness, business and the economy,
environmental sustainability and quality of life issues.