April 4, 2022
By Brandi Lyndall, Director, GEAR UP Outreach, Get2College
April 4, 2022In Mississippi, College Signing Day is supported by College Countdown Mississippi. This statewide campaign strives for every graduating high school senior to apply for college at an Application Day event, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and recognize their postsecondary plans at a College Signing Day. Mississippi began College Countdown Mississippi in 2013 with 16 participating schools, this statewide campaign expanded to over 180 participating schools in 2021.
In October 2020, Mississippi’s Education Achievement Council (EAC) passed a resolution to adopt a postsecondary attainment goal for the state of Mississippi. That resolution established two goals:
- By 2030, Mississippi will increase the postsecondary attainment of its workforce to 55%.
- By 2035, Mississippi will increase the postsecondary attainment of its workforce to 60%.
The work of College Countdown MS supports the Ascent to 55% attainment goal.
Mississippi high schools are encouraged to join College Countdown MS and host a College Signing Day to celebrate their students’ commitment to the college of their choice. The media, college representatives, volunteers, and the community at large are encouraged to provide support for the events to honor the students. College Signing Day is usually hosted by high schools every spring.
College Countdown MS members receive a poster, flyers, and stickers to promote College Signing Day and a virtual toolkit to help them plan, prepare, and execute a successful event. The toolkit includes the following resources:
- Outline of the plan.
- Videos of site coordinators on advice for planning a College Signing Day.
- Delivery options that include in-person, student-submitted decisions, virtually live, or individual student highlights.
- Videos on supporting a college-going culture through College Signing Day.
- Ways to celebrate and share using social media hashtags.
College Countdown MS provides an overview and instruction on utilizing the Signing Day Toolkit resource. Watch the recording of the Signing Day Toolkit overview.
Each year, one College Countdown MS school will earn the distinction of School of Excellence for College Signing Day. To be eligible, the schools must celebrate their event on social media and use specific hashtags for College Countdown MS to join in the celebration. All schools that participate on social media will earn recognition as Premier Schools.
College Countdown Mississippi provides a monthly newsletter for members to stay updated with announcements, news, event information, and training dates. Join the listserv here. In addition to the newsletter, College Countdown MS provides a YouTube channel and Facebook group to distribute additional resources and connect members.
College Countdown MS is a statewide partnership that includes Get2College, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi Community College Board, and Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Coordinators Kierstan Dufour and Brandi Lyndall manage College Countdown MS and work for Get2College. A Woodward Hines Education Foundation program, Get2College specializes in college planning and financial aid in Mississippi. We serve any student seeking a postsecondary education, with a special focus on students who have been traditionally underrepresented in college.
About College Signing Day
College Signing Days celebrate students’ paths to college to encourage all students to see college as an option, whether at a four-year university, a community college, an industry-recognized training program, or in the military. National College Signing Day is part of the Better Make Room program of Common App, an effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school. In spring 2014, Reach Higher planned the first National College Signing Day in San Antonio, Texas, and eight years later, we continue to celebrate students choosing to pursue postsecondary education.