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3/2/2009 - Jackson, Miss.

The Mississippi ACT Council and ACT are co-sponsoring the Mississippi College Readiness Summit on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, beginning at 9:00 a.m., at the Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University, 1230 Raymond Road, Jackson, Mississippi. Members of the media are invited and encouraged to attend.

Over 200 representatives of Mississippi's education community are slated to participate. Summit participants will discuss how college ready Mississippi students currently are, the initiatives underway and proposed to improve college readiness, the Mississippi high school feedback report, ACT research about course rigor, and how to use college readiness standards.

In 2008, over 25,600 Mississippi students took the ACT, earning an average score of 18.9, which is lower than the national average of 21. Only 9 percent of Mississippi students who took the exam met all four ACT benchmark scores, compared to a 22 percent of students nationally. The benchmark score is the minimum score needed to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding college-level courses. The Mississippi College Readiness Summit is an opportunity for the state's education community to come together to find ways to improve these statistics.

Speakers for the conference include Dr. Hank Bounds, State Superintendent of Education; Dr. Eric Clark, Executive Director for the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges; Dr. Aubrey Lucas, Interim Commissioner of Higher Education; Mr. Jon Erickson, Vice President of ACT Educational Services; Dr. Lynn House, Assistant Commissioner of Academic and Student Affairs for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL); and Dr. Fiona Qualls, Associate Executive Director for Programs of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges.

Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, IHL governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.


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