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Cumberlands Hosts Stay in School Training Session


Williamsburg, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands (UC) recently hosted the Forward in the Fifth organization which presented a Stay in School Tool training session. The session is designed to provide educators and community leaders more knowledge and tips to help prevent students from dropping out of school.

The session was directed by Forward in the Fifth’s Community and Education Specialist Laura Kamperman. During the session Kamperman used the four element model of student success to discuss with the leaders of the community that decided to join. In the model it discusses about how family, school, and community involvement along with student involvement and comprehension are keys to improving student graduation rates.

A DVD was used that shared the stories of prominent figures from the state of Kentucky and their experiences related to school. Some of the people from the video included former professional baseball player Josh Anderson from Pulaski County and Dr. Ann Lyttle-Burns, UC alumnus, who is the Special Programs Coordinator in the Fayette County Public School system. Anderson’s message was about learning from your mistakes while Burns’ focused on not letting your mistakes stop you from achieving your goals.

“As a University we were delighted to provide Forward in the Fifth the opportunity to conduct the Stay in School Tool Kit Training on our campus,” said Ms. Debbie Harp, Director of the Career Services, Mentoring, Leadership & Community Service program at UC. “It indeed takes all of us working together in partnerships to reduce the student dropout rate. It is our hope, through trainings such as this, we can impress upon students across Kentucky the importance of setting and achieving goals, taking advantage of educational opportunities and reaching for their dreams.”

Forward in the Fifth is designed to strengthen connections between businesses, educators, parents and students as they strive to help schools meet the standards set by state and national education reforms. It helps enhance education advocacy by empowering all residents in the region to advocate for improved educational systems and to increase the value that communities and families place on educational attainment. The program is also in place to better position schools and students to secure resources needed to improve the quality of education offered in their communities.

The organization was created in 1986 by U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), business and community leaders, and educators to reverse low educational attainment rates in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

Forward in the Fifth is a catalyst that helps unite individuals and communities to form structure in which a positive change can occur. They believe that education forms the foundation of individual and community prosperity.

Forward in the Fifth is an affiliate of The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

For more information about Forward in the Fifth or the “Stay in School Toolkit,” call 606-677-6000 or email

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.