Grant Award Amount: $250,000 A major effort to boost college access in challenging times

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Grant Award Amount: $250,000 A major effort to boost college access in challenging times

The James Irvine Foundation awarded the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium $250,000 over two years to continue their work in boosting college access.

The Consortium, a coalition of the community colleges, the California State University, and University of California campuses in the San Joaquin Valley, is working on several strategies to inform Valley students and parents that college is the “next step” in their lives. The strategies include:

• planning and implementing a new transfer A.A. degree that will result in easier transition for students from the community college to a four-year institution,

• enhancing its premier college-going Web site www.CollegeNext.org and reaching counselors and other college access professionals with this tool,

• conducting research and analysis related to student academic achievement and college access,

• serving as a regional source of support for the K-16 community in the Central Valley.

The Consortium will continue to build partnerships with K-12 school districts to encourage a college-going culture and education reform, as it is currently doing with Fresno Unified School District. CVHEC will be conducting asset mapping and helping the district with creating smaller learning communities which breaks down the “hugeness” of local high schools and creates a more encouraging environment for students. McLane High School in Fresno is currently the pilot of this project and has the potential become a model for the entire Central Valley.

The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium was established by the presidents and chancellors of the San Joaquin Valley’s colleges and universities “to help build a healthy future for the Central Valley,” Executive Director Allen Carden said.

“By working together, our higher education institutions can make a positive impact on the educational achievement of our region, and can help improve the quality of life in this important and rapidly growing part of California. Our mission is to provide effective leadership that promotes programs, policies and performance designed to increase higher education attainment by the people of the Central Valley.”

Dr. John D. Welty, president of California State University, Fresno, serves as the president of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium. “We are pleased that the Irvine Foundation is backing our efforts to get the word out that college is possible for all students,” he said.

* *”The Foundation’s support will allow us to carry out our mission to increase the percentage of *outseachnts seeking higCentsalcation and enhance the quConsostium.fe in our region,” Welty

The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium is headquartered on the across the street from Fresno State, at 2743 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 118, Fresno 93710-8205. The consortium can be reached toll-free at (877) ITS POSSIBLE 487-7677).