|For Immediate Release|
|Tuesday, January 9, 2007|
|Contact:||Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106; Eileen O'Connor 617-994-6903|
Statewide College Readiness Campaign Urges Students to "Think Again" About College
BOSTON - As part of a sweeping effort to increase college readiness, the state has launched its first-ever ad campaign designed to urge teens to "think again" about their futures, finish high school and go to college.
The multi-media outreach campaign, managed jointly by the Department of Education and Board of Higher Education, is being funded by a 2-year, $2 million grant the state received from the National Governor’s Association. The ads feature students from the Boston Arts Academy, and were developed and created by Buyer Advertising of Newton.
The ads pose a simple question: "Think college isn't for you? Think Again."
"Too often students write off college because they think they won't get in, can't afford it, or just don't want to go," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "But in today's economy, our students can't afford to skip college if they want to succeed. We need to change the mindset so that college becomes a given, not a question."
The campaign officially launched the week of January 1, and will continue through April. Television ads will run on FOX25, and cable networks in Springfield and Holyoke. Radio ads will air on JAMN-94.5 FM and other hip hop/pop radio stations throughout Massachusetts. Cinema ads will run in three theaters on the South Shore and Cape Cod, and transit ads will appear on the sides of buses -- 65 in Boston, and 60 in Springfield. "Think Again" fliers and posters will be distributed to all public high schools in Massachusetts over the coming weeks, as well as to various partner organizations for use in college fairs and college access marketing events.
The ads aim to drive visitors to www.readysetgotocollege.com, a new website designed to provide simple, specific steps, guidance and tools to help students understand what they need to do to graduate high school, get into the right college and succeed. The website contains multiple links to additional local and national resources.
"The students of today are the workforce of tomorrow," said Patricia Plummer, Chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. "It is incumbent upon us to encourage all kids - particularly those who face cultural or economic barriers - to pursue higher education, and to succeed in college and beyond."
In 2004, Massachusetts was named one of 10 "honor" states by the National Governors Association, and received a 2-year, $2 million grant to improve high school graduation rates and increase college readiness.
The Board of Higher Education and Department of Education have been working collaboratively for more than a year on this effort, which has been focused on three key objectives:
- Restore the value of the high school diploma;
- Close the achievement gap;
- Use data to hold ourselves accountable.
A portion of the NGA grant funds was set aside to create an outreach campaign designed to generate public support around the need for greater college readiness, and to help get kids ready for college and careers. The media buy will take the campaign through April 2007. The BHE and DOE are currently seeking funding partners to freshen up and extend the campaign beyond this time. The January launch of "Think Again" will coincide with the launch of a national and statewide college readiness campaign from the Ad Council expected to begin appearing in Massachusetts in late January.