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Chemeketa Community College awarded $61,534 grant to increase college access

Contact: Di Saunders, OUS – Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869
Source: Stephanie Carnahan, CACGP Program Director – Office: 541-346-5761; Cell: 541-359-6755

Portland, OR, October 18, 2010 – The State of Oregon announced last week that it has awarded a $61,534 grant to Chemeketa Community College’s Success Early College High School project which will provide at-risk students with academic skill development and other college preparation to provide a seamless transition from high school to college. Funded through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education received by Oregon in August, Chemeketa’s award is part of the College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) which awarded grants to 12 pre-college preparation programs across the state for a total of $607,000 in support.

Chemeketa’s Success Early College High School project will provide college preparation, career and college exploration, and college transition for a unique population of students from Success High School. The goal is to increase enrollment in postsecondary education for Success High School’s students which are primarily comprised of low-income, first-generation, and second language learner students. To achieve this goal, the project will focus on academic skill development; will increase exposure to the college environment; will encourage parent and family involvement to increase understanding of college and career options; and will enroll students meeting entry requirements in 12 college credit hours.

“Chemeketa Community College and Woodburn School District have wanted to create an early college experienceto providea supported transition into college for first-generation college students,” said Susan Murray, dean of High School Programs/College Transitions at Chemeketa Community College.  “The focus would be to prepare for the academic rigors of college, build college success skills and explore career options. The College Access Challenge Grant will help us realize this dream. Already, thirty eight students have enrolled in the program. At their first meeting, when asked if they thought they would be attending college, few students raised their hands. We hope Success Early College High School will change this perspective and create a pathway to college success for students who face personal and academic barriers. We are excited and thankful for this wonderful opportunity.”

Chemeketa Community College will partner with the Woodburn School District to deliver the programming to Success High School’s students. Besides the $61,534 provided by the grant, Chemeketa Community College will be providing an additional $64,590 in matching funds to run the program.

Stephanie Carnahan, director of college access programs for the Oregon University System, said, “There is a great need in Oregon for pre-college programs that help students and families understand how to access college in a comprehensive way, from academic preparation to understanding how financial aid works. The Success Early College High School is a great example of the type of support that all Oregon students need in order to ensure that they can access college and be academically and otherwise prepared to succeed in their education and career goals.”

The College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) is a formula grant program that is designed to foster partnerships among Federal, State and local government entities and philanthropic organizations to significantly increase the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education. CACGP provides two-year grants to States to meet the needs of underrepresented students and families. In Oregon, all education sectors and the Governor’s Office are involved in the CACGP, and the Oregon University System is the fiscal agent for the grant.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services, and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.

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