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Colleges in Four States to Develop New Career-Focused Student Advising Model

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- USA Funds and Complete College America today announced that higher education and institutional leaders in four states will develop Purpose First, a new model of best-practice student advising tools. The new advising model will combine career assessment and counseling, college return-on-investment data, and labor market information to assist college students in making more fully informed and deliberate choices of majors and careers. The announcement comes as, this week, leaders from each of the participating states gather in Denver, Colorado, to formally launch their work.

The two-year initiative, funded by a $1 million grant from USA Funds, will enable students to pursue their college goals with a stronger sense of purpose, increased motivation, and enhanced confidence that a chosen program of study matches academic and personal strengths, and a clear understanding of future career opportunities.

The four systems selected to participate in the demonstration project include:
• New Hampshire Higher Education Commission
• Tennessee Board of Regents
• University of Hawaii System
• University of Houston and Houston Community Colleges

A total of 30 two-year and four-year colleges from the four systems will work collaboratively to develop and implement a set of tools and practices that other postsecondary institutions can replicate to improve student outcomes through advisement. The new model will encourage students to explore career aspirations and choices early in their college years and help them pursue a more direct path, through their academic course work and career training, to connect with quality employment and rewarding careers following graduation.

"USA Funds is pleased to support Purpose First, an innovative approach to advising of college students to help them make more informed decisions about the 'big choice' of which major and career to pursue," said Carol D'Amico, USA Funds executive vice president, National Engagement and Philanthropy. "To ensure students get the most from their tuition dollars, they need to follow a more purposeful path through college and into rewarding careers, guided by real-time information about the needs of the labor market that students will enter following graduation."

"College students should not have to engage in random acts of enrollment as they chart their path through American higher education," said Complete College America President Stan Jones. "By putting purpose first, we ensure they won't have to. We give them tools to make better informed decisions on the front end, provide a clear path to graduation day and ensure they have the resources necessary to get there."

About USA Funds
USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose®, building a more purposeful path for America's students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at www.usafunds.org.

About Complete College America
Established in 2009, Complete College America is a national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations. For more information, visit www.completecollege.org.

CONTACT: Robert Murray, USA Funds office: 317.806.1283 Blake Johnson, Complete College America mobile: 317.616.0270Source:USAFunds