The California State University and AT&T California Road to College tour stopped in Fresno today to increase access to college for Bullard High School students.
A $1.6 million four-year contribution from the AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Corp., (NYSE:T) will fund the CSU College Corps program to provide college advising for 1,000 high school students, as well as the Road to College bus tour, a statewide education and outreach campaign centered on improving underserved student access to the CSU system.
“Supporting education has been a major focus for AT&T for more than a century, and through the Aspire initiative launched in April, education is now the key focus of our philanthropy,” said Ken McNeely, president, AT&T California. “We are driven by helping students succeed – in school, in the workforce and in life. The Road to College and CSU College Corps program will provide students in communities across the state with the tools to succeed and we are pleased to be partnered with CSU.”
Fresno State President John D. Welty and Fresno Unified School District Michael Hanson spoke at the event, and praised the effort by AT&T to help improve the college-going rate in the Valley.
More than 150 Bullard students boarded the 40-foot high-impact “wired” bus. The bus is wrapped with the CSU’s “Road to College” theme, and completed with Internet-ready laptop computers with links to CSUMentor, the university’s online planning and application website.
“We know that the best way to help underserved students understand what it takes to go to college is to reach out into the communities where they live and go to school,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “The Road to College is a hands-on experience where students have the opportunity to see for themselves how to apply, where to get financial aid, and how to successfully navigate the path to college. We look forward to seeing these students at CSU campuses in the future.”
During the stop, students were able to explore CSU’s 23 campuses, begin a student planner, fill out a college application on CSUMentor, and receive information about financial aid and scholarships.
In addition to the Road to College tour, the AT&T Foundation contribution will be used to fund the CSU College Corps pilot program, which will use CSU upper division and graduate students in counseling and related career programs to offer pre-college advising to underserved high school students. The program will initially be deployed through CSU campuses at Los Angeles, San Marcos, Bakersfield, Fresno and East Bay, with the goal to provide advising to 1,000 ninth through twelfth grade students during each academic year for four years.
The goal is to augment the work of high school guidance counselors who are increasingly challenged to provide assistance with pre-college academic advising and college course preparation because of high demands on their time for their own coursework, curriculum and mandatory testing.
CSU’s Road to College tour will run through Oct. 3 to coincide with the start of the CSU’s application period and with the CSU counselor conferences aimed at high schools and community college counselors. The bus will stop at schools, college fairs and counselor conferences in the Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Jose and Oakland areas.
About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation’s leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.