The American College Application Campaign (ACAC) has recognized Sol C. Johnson High School as a 2022 School of Excellence. Johnson High is the first and only school in the state of Georgia to be honored this year. The award recognizes those schools that increased the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families pursuing a college degree or other higher education credential. Johnson High is one of only 23 exemplary schools across the nation recognized for helping students pursue postsecondary success in 2022-23 SY.
School Counselors and staff planned a campaign to assist students in planning for a postsecondary education. Through the Georgia Apply to College Campaign, Johnson High School hosted several college recruitment fairs throughout the school year inviting over 25 different colleges to campus. The Counseling Department also organized weekly “Career Conversations" inviting experts of various careers to speak with Juniors/Seniors and answer questions about their career, their college majors, and other necessary trainings to perform their job.
“FAFSA Day" and “Apply to College Week" events were held at the school in association with coordinated visits by college and military representatives. School Counselor Angela Corinthian was instrumental in planning those events and says, “"Students need opportunities to engage with college and military representatives, as well as career professionals in diverse fields while they are exploring and learning about what they want to pursue post high school."
Those events and visits made an impact on students as relayed by Johnson High Student Council President and Senior, Jenniya Sams. She advises high school seniors who are preparing for college to, "Find resources in places you would never think about going. When your teacher says 'talk to this person,' go talk to them because they might be someone [worth talking to.]"
To celebrate their achievements, ACAC presented a plaque and celebrated the School of Excellence designation at Johnson High on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. “This is a great honor for Sol C. Johnson High School", said Derrick Muhammad, Principal of Johnson High School. “It's important that every student that wants to attend Post-Secondary School can do so.
“There could not be a more critical time for us all to support students and educators, and the remarkable reach of this year's application campaign demonstrates the value and strength of these collaborations," ACAC Director Lisa King said. “As students continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we must do all we can to remove the barriers they tell us they have in accessing the education opportunities that are right for them. We are extremely proud of this year's School of Excellence awardees, as they are true examples of how communities can work together to help students succeed."
ACAC School of Excellence winners are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to student success and for serving as an exemplary model for their state's college application campaign. Each year, ACAC works with designated coordinators in every state and the District of Columbia to host college application events and reach students in their schools and communities, encouraging and helping them to apply to college.
Nationally, 4.2 million students have been served by ACAC, and 7.3 million applications have been submitted since the Campaign began in 2005.
The American College Application Campaign is an effort by the ACT Center for Equity in Learning. More information on the winners and the Campaign can be found at: https://leadershipblog.act.org/2023/04/school-of-excellence-awards.html
See more photos from the presentation ceremony here.