CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's Higher Education Commission is launching a pilot program that offers text message counseling and college preparatory assistance.
The program announced Sunday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Chancellor Paul Hill is funded through a $225,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation.
This fall, high school seniors attending one of the 14 participating high schools can receive the college-planning text messages. Students will be able to communicate by way of text message with their high school counselor, or a college admissions or financial aid representative associated with participating colleges.
Tomblin said the project "holds much promise as it has the potential to offer students more personalized support and increased access to services which can help them succeed."
The participating high schools are Clay County, Lincoln County, Mingo Central, Mount View, River View, Roane County, Scott, Sherman, Summers County, Tug Valley, Webster County, Westside, Wirt County and Wyoming East.
The colleges involved are Bluefield State College, Concord University, Marshall University and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
"This is an exciting opportunity for West Virginia," Hill said. "As we really sharpen our focus on both encouraging high school students to attend college and supporting them until they walk across the stage to a degree, we have to be nimble and innovative. That's exactly what this project is - and I believe we'll see some terrific outcomes."