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Mount Union Earns Ohio Reach Postsecondary Designation to Support Foster Care-Connected Students

May 08, 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) recently announced its second cohort of institutions to earn the Ohio Reach Postsecondary Designation, and the University of Mount Union is pleased to be one of the 12 new campuses recognized.

According to a release from the ODHE, this designation is awarded to those campuses meeting criteria that depict their support of students with experience in foster care or kinship. Mount Union is the only Ohio Athletic Conference institution and one of only 40 colleges, universities and technical centers across the state to earn this designation. 

“Students with foster care experience often approach higher education with different life experiences and unique needs in mind,” ODHE Chancellor Mike Duffey said. “Ohio Reach schools have demonstrated a willingness to invest in these students and commit to shared success. We appreciate this commitment to Ohio’s youth.” 

Since the initial cohort was announced in August 2023, 111 Ohio Reach students have been identified through the designation to receive support services. The program also offers scholarship opportunities to eligible students at with a May 31 application deadline. 

“I am so excited for Mount Union to earn an Ohio Reach Designation and to have the opportunity to support students connected to the foster care community,” said Alexis Hedrick, director of student accessibility services at Mount Union. “There are many amazing resources that campus can offer students to help prepare them for fulfilling lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship. The Ohio Reach Support Team at Mount Union is looking forward to making meaningful connections with students and is ready to support them through their college journey.” 

Criteria for receiving the Ohio Reach Postsecondary Designation, recommended by the Ohio Reach Coalition with input from alumni of care through the Ohio Youth Action Board, include:

  • A designated campus liaison
  • Champions in various campus departments
  • The ability to connect students to resources (basic needs, food, housing)
  • Community-building opportunities for students
  • Targeted outreach to students, and efforts made to identify and support them
  • Expanding the eligibility of on-campus services
  • Staff training on working with alumni of foster care
  • Succession/transition planning
  • Data collection
  • Mentorship

More information about the Ohio Reach Postsecondary Designation and a map of Ohio Reach schools can be found at