CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The “Champion of College Access and Success” recognition awards are honoring principals, counselors and staff members from 16 high schools across the Mountain State. The schools have been selected for the awards for their efforts to educate students about higher education opportunities after graduation.

Each year, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission presents the awards to select schools that “go above and beyond to help students and their families plan for college.”

The schools that received the award have exceeded expectations in helping their students learn about the opportunities available after they complete high school, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education, said.

Armstrong Tucker also said that all schools in the Mountain State have been “working diligently” to help West Virginia reach its goal of hitting a 60% post-secondary education attainment rate by 2030. West Virginia Gov.ernor Jim Justice set this goal in 2018 through a campain called “West Virginia’s Climb” to ensure at least 60% of the state’s workforce has a formal education.

“These 16 Champion schools have worked hard to help students prepare for a certificate or degree after graduation,” Armstrong Tucker said. “We must all work together to help students pursue their academic goals and ensure our state’s workforce remains competitive. I want to thank these schools for going the extra mile to help their students discover the many education and training opportunities they have right here in West Virginia.” 

Schools that earned Champion recognition for this year are:

  • Bluefield High School – Mercer County
  • Bridgeport High School – Harrison County
  • Cross Lanes Christian School – Kanawha County
  • Doddridge County High School – Doddridge County
  • Heritage Christian School – Harrison County
  • John Marshall High School – Marshall County
  • Liberty High School (Raleigh) – Raleigh County
  • Meadow Bridge High School – Fayette County
  • Morgantown High School – Monongalia County
  • Paw Paw High School – Morgan County
  • PikeView High School – Mercer County
  • Poca High School – Putnam County
  • Scott High School – Boone County
  • Tug Valley High School – Mingo County
  • Van Junior/Senior High School – Boone County
  • Winfield High School – Putnam County

The WV HEPC says to be considered a Champion of College Access and Success, high schools must participate in three college-planning milestone events during the school year:

  • College Application and Exploration Week
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion campaign
  • College Decision Day event

Officials with the organizations say these milestones each have specific components to help students transition into college.

To learn more about Champions of College Access and Success and college planning events, visit the College for West Virginia website.