Case Studies/ Public Affairs – influencing public policy

Making student's voices heard: Ohio Association of Career
Colleges & Schools

Making students’ voices heard: Ohio Association of Career Colleges & Schools Governor Strickland’s budget proposed the elimination of the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and Workforce Development Grant for 20,000 students who attend career colleges and schools. The grants were designed exclusively for career college students, many of whom are low-income and the first in their families to attend college.

On April 18, 2007, nearly 100 career college students rallied on the Statehouse steps to protest the Governor’s proposal. The event, unprecedented in the history of the Ohio Association of Career Colleges & Schools, mobilized student activists from across Ohio. Forty news outlets ran stories about the students’ plight. It was a highly visible activity in a successful Student Lobby Day. By working together, the association, their contract lobbyist, and Siefkas Public Relations succeeded in drawing attention to the grant crisis. The lobbying and public relations strategies were perfectly matched to accomplish the association’s goal. In result, the Ohio General Assembly voted to restore the grants, enabling thousands of students to pursue their college careers and achieve their dreams.