BISMARCK, N.D. - College Within Your Reach, a conference focused on increasing college access, will be held at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, N.D., Feb. 9 and 10, 2010.
The conference is sponsored by the North Dakota College Access Network, which encourages students to set and achieve higher education goals. ND-CAN is committed to helping low-income and under-represented students enroll and succeed in college. To increase college access opportunities for students of disadvantaged backgrounds, ND-CAN develops partnerships with state, private and tribal colleges; local businesses; and student support programs.
"The information available at this conference can help bridge the gap between having the desire to attend college and finding the resources and opportunity to make it possible," said Bill Goetz, chancellor of the North Dakota University System.
Students, parents, teachers and counselors are encouraged to attend. Conference session topics will include: applying for federal PELL grants and examining changes in the 2010-11 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, discussing best practices in college retention and college success, exploring leadership opportunities through programs such as North Dakota Youth Forward and the North Dakota Indian Youth Leadership Academy, advancing American Indian education support in North Dakota and providing rehabilitation services for college students who have disabilities.
Keynote speaker Liz Murray will share her inspirational life story. The child of two drug-addicted parents and homeless at age 15, Murray earned a full scholarship to Harvard University. Her journey was featured in the Emmy-nominated Lifetime Television movie "Homeless to Harvard." She will speak in the Grand Pacific Ballroom Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
A college access fair for the general public also will be held throughout the conference. The event is funded through the North Dakota College Access Challenge Grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the North Dakota University System. The conference is free and open to the public. Online registration is required. To register, go to: www.bismarckstate.edu/ceti/ndcan