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College and Career Student Planning Support for Parents
Posted On:
Monday, March 30, 2015



Release Date: March 26, 2015

Contact: Sue Patrick

Phone: 502-573-1652, ext. 308 

Free online class now available to help parents support college and career planning

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- A new online program called Take the LEAD helps Kentucky parents and community members support their middle and high school students in getting ready for college and a career. The program is free and on-demand so that participants can earn their Local Education Advocate Diploma on their own schedule.

“Parent involvement and support is vital to student success,” said Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “When it comes to making sure their child is ready, our parents need access to information that is easy to understand, relevant to where their student is, and available at any time. That’s what Take the LEAD is all about.”

Developed by GEAR UP Kentucky specifically for at-risk and underserved families, Take the LEAD provides research-based coursework to help parents advise their children on their plans after high school. Participants learn about the importance of being involved in their child’s education, how to interpret standardized test scores and use online tools to keep track of their child’s academic progress, the different ways to pay for college, and how to navigate the college admissions process.

Topics are organized into three levels so parents can get the information relevant to their student’s grade level: Middle School (seventh and eighth grade), High School (ninth and 10th grade), and College & Career Savvy (11th and 12th grade – available in Summer 2015). Content is presented in “bite-size pieces,” 5–10 minute segments, with each course taking approximately 20–45 minutes to complete.

Participants may choose to try just one, a handful, or complete all the core courses to earn a Local Education Advocate Diploma in any of the three levels.

“There are no deadlines, no tests and no grades,” added King. “This program is simply about helping more Kentucky parents feel more confident in navigating the path to college and a career. It’s an opportunity to let others know – especially your child – that you are ready to take the lead in guiding them to a successful future."

The Take the LEAD program is part of the Digital Driver’s License website hosted by the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. Many Kentucky schools already use the Digital Citizenship License on this site to help their students learn how to behave appropriately online.

GEAR UP Kentucky also offers a toolkit for schools and organizations interested in offering the Take the LEAD program in their local community. The online toolkit includes resources for promoting and implementing the program and can be accessed at  

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