Campus: Northridge -- September 15, 2006

CSUN Receives $2.2 Million to Reach Out to Underserved Communities

Cal State Northridge has received $2.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education in an effort to increase the number of students from underserved communities who attend college.

The two, five-year Educational Talent Search grants will support the university's outreach to middle and high school students and their parents.

"The focus of each grant is on students in selected middle and high schools who may have the academic potential to succeed in college, but often do not recognize or understand their options beyond high school," said Javier Hernandez, director of student outreach and recruitment at Cal State Northridge. "Our goal is to help these kids realize there are wonderful opportunities waiting for them. All they need is a college education."

A total of 1,200 students from 15 San Fernando Valley schools, nine middle and six high schools, are expected to participate. In addition to academic counseling, the students will receive information about college entrance requirements, scholarships and various financial aid packages. They also will visit a number of universities. Parents will have opportunities to attend workshops on such topics as parenting skills or what is involved in going to college.

The program is aimed at economically disadvantaged students from families with incomes under $24,000 and where neither parent graduated from college.

Among the middle schools participating are East Valley, Maclay, Madison, Olive Vista, Pacoima, San Fernando Sun Valley, Van Nuys and Fulton College Preparatory. The participating high schools are Francis Polytechnic, Grant, Monroe, San Fernando, Sylmar and Van Nuys.

The Educational Talent Search grants originated in programs established by the federal government in 1965 to ensure equal educational opportunity for everyone, regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances. In many communities, these programs are among the only ones of their kind that help students overcome economic, social, academic and cultural barriers to higher education. In fact, the two Northridge grants are the only ones funded in the San Fernando Valley.

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