Important for students to understand post-high school opportunities

Cape Central High School is one of nine high schools — six in Missouri and three in Tennessee — working with a new organization aimed at helping students gain better access to college and career opportunities.

It’s designed to help rural students, though Central is a large school district.

The rootEd Alliance is “an alliance of funders and organizations that are focused on how we can clear a path for stronger futures for kids from rural communities and small towns in Missouri,” Noa Meyer, coordinator of the program, told reporter Jay Wolz recently. RootEd focuses on increasing advising opportunities at high schools and community colleges, providing information about what life after high school looks like, even offering financial support for students pursuing four-year degrees. This is important, Meyer said, because two-thirds of all American jobs require post-high school education and training, but only a quarter of rural high school graduates earn a two- or four-year degree.

Central High School lags behind state averages for students enrolling in college.

The program provides some scholarships to students. They’re funded by rootEd and administered through a St. Louis foundation.

For students who are uncertain or intimidated by life after high school, knowledge about what to expect and navigate is half the battle. Whether it’s workforce training or college, secondary education typically leads to better jobs and healthier people.

This seems like a good partnership for students in Cape Girardeau’s school district.