The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC)
was established in 2010 to help level the playing field for students in Appalachian Ohio. Through initial support from Ohio’s Race to the Top grant and other philanthropic foundations, the first four years of the OAC focused on building a strong collaborative, establishing networks for professional development and learning, and joining forces to amplify the voice of Appalachian districts to generate resources. Working together, the mission of the OAC is clear: to not only provide enhanced educational opportunities for its students, but to also strengthen the ties between education and economic development and bring students hope and aspiration for a brighter future.
In 2013, through a grant from Ohio’s Straight A Innovation Fun, the OAC brought 27 districts together to build a shared dual enrollment and personalized learning pathways system for grades 6-12, supported by a shared professional learning network for educators. This work is helping students recognize and engage in their role to decide their own future. Highlights include:
- The OAC has created 56 career pathways in Arts & Communication, Business & Entrepreneurship, Health & Human Service, and STEM—all areas with a direct link to the region. More than 1,000 students are currently enrolled in one of these pathways.
- More than 2,800 OAC students have taken dual enrollment courses through partnerships with 14 partner institutions of higher education.
- Nearly 250 dual enrollment courses are available for students, ranging from accounting to structural engineering to Mandarin Chinese and global politics.
- OAC students have earned more than 13,200 college credit hours, saving students and families more than $2.35 million in college tuition costs.
- Through the Straight A grant, 78 teachers have been credentialed to teach dual enrollment courses by partnering institutions of higher education.
Read the 2015‒2016 OAC Straight A Annual Report to learn how this innovative work is making a difference for students, educators, and families in Appalachian Ohio.