In 2014, then First Lady, Michelle Obama launched the Reach Higher initiative to inspire every student, especially first-generation and low-income students, to take charge of their future and complete an education past high school. Higher Ed Live has been proud to support this initiative from the start.

Now in its fifth year, the Reach Higher program is helping students navigate the college-going process by (1) reaching students where they are at and celebrating their success on social media and through flagship events like College Signing Day; (2) raising awareness about helpful college access tools like FAFSA and Up Next resources; and (3) enhancing student support systems by building the capacity of the school counseling profession.

Tune in to this live broadcast to learn more about what’s new for Reach Higher and how your institution can join the movement.


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Admissions Live is sponsored by mStoner, Inc.

Episode Host

Christen Gowan

Director of Digital Strategy, Union College

Christen Gowan is a member of the Communications and Marketing team at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. As director of digital strategy, she manages the College’s social media channels and marketing video production. She leads digital marketing efforts at the College, engaging Union’s online audiences, and serves as an advisor to senior staff and the president on their online presences. Prior to joining Union in 2010, she covered various beats as a daily news reporter for the Albany Times Union.



Eric Waldo

As Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, Waldo is working to inspire every student in the U.S. to take charge of their future by completing their post-secondary education, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a 2-year or 4-year college or university. His role cuts across policy, advocacy, and community engagement to further the goal that the U.S. once again leads the world in terms of college graduates. Waldo now runs Reach Higher out of the non-profit membership organization, The Common Application, where he continues to lead Mrs. Obama’s college and completion work, and where he also serves as the Chief Access & Equity Officer.


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