January 19, 2011

Jefferson City - The top public education officials in Missouri will lead a panel discussion March 3 on the three keys to college attainment: preparation, access and persistence.

David Russell, commissioner of higher education, and Chris Nicastro, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, will address the Focus on Missouri: Teach and Share Conference March 3 at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia.

The conference will bring together educators, administrators, policymakers, researchers, funders and non-profits to share successful ways to create a college-going culture and provide postsecondary education to minority, at-risk and low income students.

The conference will offer a one-day format with keynote addresses, interactive workshops and discussions, and the "Show Me Access Gallery," a showcase of access providers and the tools they use to improve success.

Conference attendees are also invited to participate in a discussion March 2 by an ad-hoc working group on the creation of a statewide college access network. The goals for the working group will include identifying barriers and challenges, discussing creation of a statewide network and taking next steps.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education and MU's Division of Enrollment Management are conference sponsors. The events are free but registration is required and space is limited.