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McMinnville School District awarded $48,583 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 19, 2010 – The State of Oregon announced last week that it has awarded a $48,583 grant to McMinnville School District’s Bridge to College project to help the district increase college enrollment and completion of its students. Funded through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education received by Oregon in August, McMinnville’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.

McMinnville’s Bridge to College project will be implemented at both McMinnville High School and at the Media Arts and Communications Academy, with the goal of increasing the number of low-income and first-generation students who go on to and graduate from college. To achieve this goal, the project will ensure that students are academically prepared and on-track for college; will provide access to dual high school/college credit coursework at the schools; will surround students with mentors and adults who will strengthen and sustain college-going aspirations; will support students to complete the critical steps for college entry, such as taking the SAT/ACT exams, and completing the FAFSA financial aid application; and help parents and guardians also understand the steps that need to be taken in order to enroll in college and apply for financial aid.

“McMinnville School District is proud of and grateful for the hard work of our dual high school/college credit teachers and other staff members who support students in successfully navigating their way to postsecondary education and careers that earn a living family wage,” said Tony Vicknair, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for McMinnville School District #40. “We are excited about the additional opportunities the Bridge to College Project will provide to our students and recent graduates this year, and we thank the state of Oregon for these funds!”

McMinnville School District will partner with other colleges and organizations to deliver the programming to students, including Chemeketa, Portland, and Linn Benton Community Colleges; Oregon’s ASPIRE mentoring program; Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum; and a Career Pathway program at McMinnville High School. Besides the $48,583 provided by the grant, McMinnville School District will be providing an additional $162,951 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. Bridge to Success 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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