YSU brings Secretary of Education’s senior adviser to the Valley

On Oct. 28 and 29, Greg Darnieder, the senior adviser to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, will visit Youngstown. During his time in the Valley, he will participate in events at Youngstown State University and the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.
Darnieder’s presence in Youngstown is due to the efforts of Karla Krodel, the director of the YSU Metro Credit Education Outreach Department.
“I met Greg Darnieder at Washington D.C. when I was at a small, little meeting about legislative action in education — specifically about dual-enrollment,” Krodel said. “And he spoke during lunch, and I introduced myself and told him I was from Youngstown. He said, quote, unquote, ‘I wanna come to Youngstown.’”
A significant component of Darnieder’s eminent position is to travel cross-country, meeting with education leaders — especially in troubled districts — and discussing possible tactics to improve college attendance in their areas.
“There are many students who might be qualified to go to college, but don’t because of poverty, lack of resources or lack of support,” Krodel said.
Darnieder will be coming to YSU for just this reason. He will participate in a college access summit on Oct. 28 that will include a series of working sessions across campus. The summit is an attempt to discuss the low enrollment of often disenfranchised students, how to encourage increased enrollment and the ways in which professors, administration and other community leaders can encourage success.
Darnieder will kick off his time at YSU by visiting the Youngstown Early College from 8:30-10 a.m. and will move over to McKay Auditorium for the remainder of the event.
At 10:30 a.m., he will speak with YSU stakeholders, as well as other participants, about the state’s policy on dual-enrollment. Dual-enrollment is any program that allows students to simultaneously enroll in two academic institutions — this typically entails high school students that take college courses for both high school and college credit.
“We are going to talk about state policy for dual-enrollment, and try to get feedback from our stakeholders to try to influence that policy,” Krodel said.
At 1 p.m., Darnieder will move on to speak about collective impact policies, specifically what role collective impact can play in increasing college enrollment.
Charles Howell, the Dean of the Beeghly College of Education, explains collective impact as the ideology that, for an impact to be made on destitute educational institutes, the greater community has to rally together to act in tandem.
Darnieder will lead a session at 2:30 p.m. on college access. After a short break, he will meet at 3:30 p.m. to discuss college retention.
“Making sure that more kids have opportunities to go to college, both from a financial aid standpoint [and] an academic preparedness standpoint — we think it is very important for educators at all levels, especially the community colleges and the four year colleges, to work together to make sure that kids are on track to complete college,” Howell said.
On Oct. 29, thanks to the efforts of Krodel, Darnieder will act as the keynote speaker for the Eastern Ohio P-16 Education Partnership’s fourth annual “Excellence in Education-Celebrating our Schools” luncheon at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center.
Krodel worked with Stephanie Shaw, the executive director of the Mahoning Eastern Ohio Education Partnership, to bring Darnieder to the event.
“YSU is a strong partner with Eastern Ohio Educational Partnership, and Stephanie Shaw is very involved with college access issues,” Krodel said. “So when I found out Greg was coming I told her, and she said ‘oh do you think he would be our keynote.’ He had said he wanted to come and spend a couple days, so it was a good match.”
The Eastern Ohio Education Partnership is a collaborative organization that partners with educational leaders, businesses, non-profits and other pillars of the community across Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties to support education initiatives, share data and create common agendas.
The luncheon will recognize school districts throughout the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership’s four-county region that received an A in Value Added, Performance Index and/or Standards Met on the Ohio Department of Education Report Card. The luncheon will also recognize an innovative teacher within these districts.
YSU is a partner with the organization and is a sponsor for the luncheon. YSU President Randy Dunn will give a welcoming speech and introduce Darnieder at the event.
“The P-16 partnership with YSU is actually quite extensive. Dr. Anderson was on our board, Dr. Sweet is one of the folks who initially helped form the P-16 organization and Dr. Howell is now a board member,” Shaw said. “So we work with them on different projects in the community; we work with them on different education initiatives. We currently have an initiative where we are working together to see why students leave high school not prepared for college, and to figure out where that gap is.”
Prior to the event, Darnieder will speak in two small sessions, one with twelve essential educators and one with several business leaders.
“The morning of the 29th, we will have two small sessions. One with about twelve educators,” Shaw said. “And then we will have another small session with business leaders. We will talk to him about what education means to us in the Valley and potentially how the federal government could help us in our region.”
These two small sessions are also the result of the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership and YSU partnership.
“EOEP has worked with YSU Metro College and Beeghly College of Ed to determine what partners should be at the table, and to determine the purpose and outcomes of each meeting,” Shaw said.

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