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Federal Grant to Boost Low-Income LA College Success

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In attempt to encourage students from low-income families to organize for college, the federal government has awarded California?State University, Dominguez Hills nearly $3.Six million as part of a seven-year Department of Education Gaining Early Access Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP).

As part of the grant, the university is partnering with the Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP), and?Los Angeles?Unified?School District\’s (LAUSD) Bethune Middle and?John?C.?Fremont?Senior High schools, says an announcement.

It\’s a prescient issue. The National Center for Education Statistics says that only 55 percent of students from low-income families go on to college from high school compared to 84 percent that go to college from high-income families.

And now, using the grant, the California?State University works toward shrinking that gap locally, writes Amy Bentley-Smith at CSUDH News.

\”Beginning with this particular year\’s seventh grade class at Bethune, CSU Dominguez Hills and LAEP Prepare staff will implement a university preparatory program that will follow students as they progress to high school and graduation at?Fremont,\” writes Bentley-Smith.

For every year of the program, students will be presented advising, tutoring and academic programs, all gearing up to helping them flourish in high school after which when advancing to college.

The grant will also help provide “an extensive secondary?curriculum along with excellent teaching, workshops on financial literacy, personal time management and careers, and college campus visits.”

The plan also looks to bring organizations together. The GEAR UP team is going to be joined by Southwest College, LAUSD\’s Beyond the Bell afterschool program, the Unusual Suspects theater program and Community Coalition to help efforts to bring more unlikely students academic success.

Sue Borrego, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at CSU Dominguez Hills said:

\”One of the primary goals of the grant is to develop and sustain the organizational capacity of middle schools to prepare all students for high school and success in higher education through a systemic network of support for adults who influence middle and school students, specifically their counselors, faculty, school leaders, and families.

\”This expanded organizational capacity is expected to result in a higher part of students, particularly from backgrounds and communities that historically haven\’t pursued a university education, enrolling and succeeding attending college.\”

In its first generation, the stimulating grant looks to support students from 7th through 12th?grade. But, if the plan is successful and yields great results, the sky\’s the limit for the project, which could see other schools institute best practices toward increasing college-going rates for those their students.

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