Montana educators and education partners looking to find new and innovative ways to direct students along the path to higher education are invited to attend the Montana College Access Network conference at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center Sept. 19-20.

Called “Building a College Going Montana,” the conference is focused on bringing educators together to share ideas and best practices, along with hear from dynamic and inspiring keynote speakers, as the group works toward its common goal.

“Montana students are fortunate to have a group of educators who are committed to helping them get to college and achieve their academic aspirations,” said Rene’ Dubay, MCAN chairwoman.“By gathering at the conference in Billings, I think educators will be able to lay the foundation for fresh and integrated plans to help students be successful in their endeavors.”

Keynote speakers include Montana resident Kevin Connolly, creator of The Rolling Exhibition; Ranjit Sidhu, senior vice president of strategic initiatives for the education division of ACT, Inc.; Paul Anderson, 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year; and Pam Krueger and Jack Gallagher, co-hosts of the award-winning public television series, Money Track.

As an added bonus to conference attendees, MCAN coordinated its conference to coincide with the Montana Financial Education Coalition (MFEC) conference, “Building a Money $avvy Montana.”
Recent financial literacy surveys conducted by the Jump$tart Coalition found that Montana high school students answered only 54.5 percent of questions correctly — an indicator that new techniques for conveying this knowledge to students is necessary.

As part of the MFEC conference, educators can participate in breakout sessions that provide practical information on a variety of financial education issues and programs, attend a resource fair and more.

MCAN is a coordinated network, promoting access to educational opportunities after high school for Montana students by aligning efforts of MCAN members. The network’s vision is for Montana to have sufficient numbers of college graduates to fill the 62 percent of Montana jobs that will require postsecondary education by 2018.

MFEC is a collection of financial institutions, government and nonprofit organizations, businesses and interested individuals who believe that financial literacy is essential to economic advancement. MFEC’s efforts reach out to Montanans of all age groups and financial situations.

For more information on registration for the MCAN and MFEC conferences, visit knowhow2gomontana.org/conference.