Malone University, Canton City Schools partner in helping seniors "Stepping off to College"

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Thanks to a grant from the City of Canton, Malone University is partnering with Canton City Schools McKinley High School and the Timken Early College High School Program to prepare 45 seniors for a smooth transition to higher education.

The 45 students participating in the “Stepping off to College” program have all been accepted to college, and are visiting Malone’s campus monthly in February, March, and April to prepare for their higher education careers. Students who attend each of the three events will receive a “tech package” at a banquet in May that will include a laptop and a clothing voucher. Malone’s Dean of Retention and Student Success Beth Clark-Thomas is leading programming efforts while Casey Quinn, College & Career Connector, is the high school liaison.

“Anything we can do to help our community’s students be better equipped for college is a tremendous investment into their future,” said Clark-Thomas. “We believe in our students and are excited to see them succeed, not just in college, but in life. The kids are really excited to be here, and we are really excited to host them. We hope it is the start of a long-term relationship.”

Programming was created around a survey Clark-Thomas created, asking first-yearstudents what they wish they had known coming into college. Several themes emerged: career options, finances, and student life. In the opening February event, students met with career counselors and used job assessment tools to determine skill sets, interests, and what kind of majors may be best for them.

Upcoming events include “Money Matters” on March 20 and “The Amazing College Race” on April 17. Money Matters will allow students to meet with a partner from 5/3 Bank, who will explain to students how to budget, and what they need to know about debit and credit card accounts. Malone University’s Laura Klco, Associate Director of Financial Aid, will teach students how to understand their financial aid packages and discuss with them financial options such as grants, loans, FAFSA, etc. The event will conclude with a panel of Malone first-year-students who will answer questions and help educate them on how to handle money matters.

The Amazing College Race will include teams led by college students who will be responsible for introducing the high school students to various areas on campus, such as the financial aid office, registrar’s office, etc., as well as help them understand what it might mean to live in a residence hall community and how to negotiate living with non-family members. The event will conclude with students eating dinner in the Hoover Dining Commons.

“We are proud to support this educational partnership between Canton City Schools and Malone University,” said Canton Mayor Thomas M. Bernabei. “We’re confident that this investment in the students’ futures will produce citizens that will continue to make Canton a great place to call home.”