Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

Building Prosperity in Ohio

by Pam Noeth, Director, Battelle for Kids | Sep 21, 2015

Ohio has been a state long known as a pathway into the early west. In the 1800s, Ohioans forged a path into western America that helped lay the foundation for the development of the entire country. We know Ohioans have always been well-suited to, and engaged in, building strong pathways. Now, more than 150 years later, we find the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC) committed to a clear mission of not only providing enhanced educational opportunities to its more than 48,000 students, but also dedicated to strengthening the ties between education and economic development and bringing students hope and aspiration for a brighter future. 

In From The First Forty-Eight Through The 21st Century, explore an in depth look at how the 27 OAC school districts are building pathways for rural students to help them succeed in the 21st century. The OAC, through a Straight A Fund grant from the State of Ohio, has built four model pathways to enable student success and continued prosperity for their lives after high school. These career pathways, much like the forging of the Northwest Territory, help to forge bright futures for students in the areas of:

  • Arts & Communication
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Health & Human Services
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

With more than 800,000 economically disadvantaged students in Ohio and 450,000 Ohio students attending schools in rural communities, it is imperative that Ohio’s rural students have access to a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and careers, and lift them out of the cycle of poverty. But, rural school districts face unique challenges. Many students in rural school districts come from economically disadvantaged homes. And the Appalachian region as a whole struggles with an under-educated population and a lack of high-paying jobs to keep educated citizens in the area.

Because of the collaboration and hard work of the educators in the OAC, the road through Ohio’s rural education system is now a more robust, state-of-the-art pathway. Ohio continues to lead the way in a true pioneering spirit, forging the way and building pathways that are impacting the educational landscape of rural education.