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55,000 Degrees Seeks Help From Tech Innovation

Louisville’s 55,000 Degrees initiative is asking technology entrepreneurs to participate in a competition to increase the number of college degrees in the community.The Gheens Foundation is putting up $20,000 for the best idea that will accelerate or motivate higher education attainment.The city is not on track to meet its goal of 55,000 bachelors and associates degrees by 2020, but the city has increased its efforts and other programs to meet its 10 year goal.Program director Mary Gwen Wheeler says the initiative needs help and the competition gives innovators a chance to partner their skills with local education.The winning idea could be a concept, a process, or something physical, said Wheeler.“Maybe there’s some kind of app that provides the important information on a timely basis to potential students or students who are struggling with some issue that might prevent them from continuing in college,” she said.The competition is seeking well-developed concepts, and a winner will be chosen to develop a prototype or idea by the end of March 2013.The deadline to submit an idea is Nov. 2.According to a release, the competition seeks ideas that achieve two key goals:·        Motivating and supporting students, both traditional and adult learners, to earn a post-secondary degree;·        Employing technology-based approaches to improve degree completion rates and attract more college-educated people to Louisville.

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