Last Modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 7:08 PM
If, as the saying goes, knowledge is power, the state of Louisiana has given high and middle school students and their parents a valuable tool to help them in their travels toward college.
An interactive website, Louisiana Connect, has been designed to help students and their parents prepare for college and make an appropriate selection.
The state-run website collects course work information for students beginning in the eighth grade and gives them a reading of where they stand during their secondary education careers.
Louisiana Connect also has information on every college listed in the Peterson’s Guide, a national educaiton content provider.
The information includes student enrollment, students per class, whether the college is public or private and whether it’s located in a urban, suburbs or rural setting.
‘‘Students can compere all of that to narrow down by criteria,’’ said Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance Executive Director Melanie Armhein. ‘‘If you’re looking for a suburban school that offers a certain major, you can find it.’’
The website also has a scholarship database where colleges specify the scores of students’ standardized test scores they are seeking.
It allows the colleges to search for students who have been involved in particular subjects like the sciences or maths. Amrhein says that allows a college and a particular student to begin a dialogue.
Another feature of Louisiana Connect matches student qualifications with different internships and employment opportunities.
The piece de resistance, expected to be operational in October, is a tracking resource for the popular Taylor Opportunity Scholarship Program, aka TOPS. It will allow students and parents to track how the students grade point average and standardized test score qualifies them for TOPS.
Amrhein said this will encourage parents to be more actively involved in their students’ education path and grades.
Louisiana Connect allows students and parents to be well-informed and well-armed.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.