Walla Walla Community College, College Place Public Schools, Walla Walla Public Schools and Elevate (an education-focused program powered by United Way of the Blue Mountains) have been selected as one of 25 regional partnerships to join Limitless, a Postsecondary Enrollment Learning Network managed by Education First with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Over the next four years, the Limitless Learning Network will bring together K-12 and higher education partners across Washington state to share information, explore new ideas and create opportunities to help more students successfully transition from high school to college.
According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, nearly 90% of Washington’s high schoolers say they want to continue their education after graduation, but only 50% enroll in postsecondary programs.
The reasons vary. But concerns about the cost of education and a lack of career and education advising can be significant barriers for some students. The Limitless Learning Network will focus on better understanding barriers like these and finding solutions that work.
Through in-person meetings, virtual learning sessions and working groups, the partnership will explore approaches like high-quality advising, FAFSA/WASFA completion, dual enrollment programs like Running Start, and more.
“It’s exciting to be able to collaborate with representatives from the Walla Walla and College Place school districts and our community nonprofits to improve our service to our students,” says Director of Outreach Melissa Rodriguez, WWCC’s representative in the partnership. “Sharing insights and expertise with our peers across the state is a unique opportunity for us all to grow together.”
The first meeting of the partnership will take place Nov. 13 and 14 at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.