TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Monday, Mississippi became the focus of educators from eight other states. They came here to find out what certain school districts are doing to put more students in college.
It's the first time The Appalachian Higher Education Bus Tour made a stop in Mississippi.
These leaders were eager to learn what 13 Mississippi schools are doing to encourage more students to go to college after high school.
"(Three years ago) 13 schools had an average college going rate of about 61 percent. This past year the average college going rate in those schools was a little over 80%," said Phil Hardwick, state director of Appalachian Higher Education Network.
The bus made a stop in Corinth first, where close to 100 percent of its graduating class went on to college. Leaders wanted to know their plan of success.
"The most effective things was taking students on college visits, ACT preparation, community partnership and helping them (students) find funding to attend college," Hardwick said.
Keith Walker of Kentucky said about 55 percent of its students go on to college after high school. He said his biggest hurdle is changing the perception of college.
"We have a lot of young people that feel like they can not go to college with the amount of money they have or they feel they are not ready for college," said Hardwick.
Sandy Smith of Ohio said her focus is finding ways to adopt some of the success plans at the elementary level.
"The high school does a good job of exposing kids to career readiness and college and I think at the elementary level we kinda lack that," said Smith.
The Appalachian Higher Education Network offers funding, training and educational awareness to schools in distressed counties. Each school within those areas can apply for grant money to be used to fund programs that will foster higher education.