Juneau, Bullock and ACT to Honor GF College MSU and Bozeman High School

Thursday, March 6, 2014
By Allyson Hagen

Juneau, Bullock and ACT to Honor Great Falls College Montana State University and Bozeman High School for Successful College and Career Readiness Efforts

Great Falls, MT - Superintendent Juneau and Governor Bullock will be joined by leadership from ACT at the Board of Regents meeting on March 6 at the Great Falls College MSU Heritage Hall to honor a student, a high school and a two-year college for serving as leading examples of success in college and career readiness. The award presentations will take place from 11:30 am – 12:00 pm.

“There are amazing things happening in schools across Montana. Our educators are finding new and innovative ways to teach and our students are excelling,” Bullock said. “I’m proud to recognize just a few of the folks who are making a difference in the lives of Montana students and communities.”

Montana is one of eight states participating in the ACT’s second annual College and Career Readiness Campaign. From now until June, ACT will join state governors and superintendents to honor the achievements of students, schools and employers in their states which benefit their communities and succeed despite the challenges they face.

“It is important to recognize students, schools and two-year colleges for their work to make Montana’s future brighter,” said Superintendent Juneau. “Many students have to overcome serious challenges in order to be successful. The stories of individuals and the educators who work to make a difference in the lives of students are important to tell and be celebrated.” 

ACT will review all state nominees and select four national semifinalists in each category. A national selection committee comprised of education and workforce development leaders will then select one honoree per category for national recognition. National award recipients will be recognized at the ACT National Gala on College and Career Readiness in Washington, D.C., on June 3, 2014.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Montana on this year’s College and Career Readiness Campaign,” said ACT Vice President Scott Montgomery. “This campaign is really about focusing on the hard work of individuals and institutions and celebrating their success in ensuring all students are ready for post-secondary and career success. Montana certainly is a leader in that area and we’re delighted to be a part of those efforts.”
ACT’s partner states in this campaign are: Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Student Readiness Award and Scholarship: Alisa Braun, Bozeman High School
Alisa Braun, a senior at Bozeman High School, exemplifies determination in all that she does.  She is a dedicated student and an active member of the community. As a member of National Honor Society, Alisa has participated in many service projects in Bozeman including working with young children, senior citizens, and low-income students.  Alisa is also one of only two representatives from the senior class selected to advise faculty on school climate and bullying prevention programs. She has overcome family challenges as well as a severe concussion in her junior year that kept her out of school for two months.

Alisa says, “Living without my education and opportunities made me appreciate the amazing education I have received and that many have gone without. I find education as something I ‘get’ to do instead of ‘have to’ do.” Alisa’s determination and resiliency have allowed her to become the successful, well-adjusted young adult she is today. Alisa plans to study Psychology or Neuroscience in order to better help families who deal with similar issues to her own. 

College and Career Transition Award: Bozeman High School
Bozeman High School (BHS) offers a rigorous curriculum to ensure all students are prepared for college and careers. More than half of BHS students pursue an honors diploma, which requires four years of math and three years of science. Over the past five years, an average of 44 percent of Bozeman’s ACT-tested students met the college readiness benchmarks in all four subject areas compared to the national average of 25 percent. More than 70 percent of BHS high school graduates go on to college.

To help students with the transition from high school to college, BHS offers seventeen Advanced Placement courses as well as dual enrollment courses in several subject areas. BHS recently revamped its career and technical education programs to include programs such as Biomedicine, Engineering, and Prostart, which have attracted a broad base of students. The Biomed program offers four years of coursework to prepare students to enter a health-related career. More than 300 students are accessing at least one course in this program. Prostart is the capstone course of the culinary arts program.  Students who take this course are guaranteed to leave with restaurant certification. 

Bozeman High School has been named to Newsweek’s “America’s Best High Schools” multiple times over the past 10 years.  Each year, more than 100 students qualify as AP scholars (a score of 3 or higher on 3 or more exams), and BHS averages nine students a year who qualify as National Merit finalists.

Career Preparedness Award: Great Falls College Montana State University
Great Falls College MSU provides students many opportunities to explore careers and recognizes that many students need support in order to be successful. To ensure success, Great Falls College MSU requires new students to take the “Becoming a Successful Student” course during their first semester. In this course, students learn about the many support services available to them, including free tutoring and disability services. Students are also exposed to the Montana Career Information System (MCIS) as a career exploration tool. To evaluate and determine workplace employability skills, the College’s Outreach & Workforce Development Division offers the National Career Readiness Certificate.

Great Falls College MSU wants every student to feel that they belong and their experience is valued.  The College established Native American and Veterans’ Success Centers, built a childcare center for parents going to school and has a food pantry on campus.

Great Falls College MSU has also developed strong relationships with employers in their community. Local health care providers donated equipment for a Simulated Hospital, providing students with practical hands-on experiences. Recent customized trainings developed to support local businesses include: welding certifications, EMS certifications and computer software training. The College’s Development Board, officers, faculty, and staff members develop relationships within the community for fundraising, and $500,000 is currently available for student scholarships as part of this endeavor.


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