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Hillcrest High School, which is currently undergoing renovations, soon will have a student success adviser paid for by OTC.
SBJ file
Hillcrest High School, which is currently undergoing renovations, soon will have a student success adviser paid for by OTC.

OTC, SPS partner on Hillcrest initiative

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Ozarks Technical Community College and Springfield Public Schools signed a memorandum of understanding for a post-secondary initiative at Hillcrest High School.

Approved by the SPS Board of Education yesterday, the MOU calls on OTC to hire a student success adviser for Hillcrest to counsel and instruct students on their post-secondary options, including college, vocational training and military service, according to a news release.

"We see this as part of our mission," OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon said in the release. "Whether Hillcrest students go to college, enter an apprenticeship program or serve our country, we want to help them become productive and prosperous citizens.”

The goal is to put an adviser in place sometime this semester.

OTC spokesperson Mark Miller said funding for the adviser would come from the community college's operational budget. The salary range for the position is $38,000-$43,000, including benefits, and OTC is committed to at least three years for the initiative at Hillcrest, he said.

The advisory initiative is similar to a model OTC has in partnership with four rural high schools in southern Missouri, according to the release. Since the implementation of the program during the 2019-20 academic year, the schools have seen an increase in federal student aid applications as high as 29% and a jump in college enrollment as high as 10%.

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