Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- February 19, 2001


University's Outreach Efforts Awarded $1.4 Million

More than $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education has been awarded to Cal State Fullerton to fund programs aimed at encouraging students to pursue undergraduate and doctoral degrees.

The funding-generated from six grants-is benefiting more than 1,200 junior high, high school and college students during the 2000-01 academic year through the Upward Bound, Student Support Services, GEAR UP and Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement programs. All are designed to reach out to first-generation, low-income college-bound and university students.

"These programs have helped a significant number of students to succeed in higher education," said Dr. Silas H. Abrego, associate vice president for student affairs. "The students who have participated have succeeded at Cal State Fullerton and now have the opportunity, if they wish, to pursue their doctoral studies. In addition, the programs provide us an opportunity to have an impact on K-12 education."

Upward Bound gives fundamental support to participants preparing to enter college, with a goal of increasing the rates at which students enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions. With this year's grants, CSUF continues two Upward Bound programs, each of which serves 50 high school students in the Santa Ana and Norwalk/Whittier school districts.

The Santa Ana schools are Century, Saddleback, Santa Ana and Valley high schools. In Norwalk and Whittier, the schools are La Serna, Norwalk, John Glenn and Pioneer high schools.

Continuing in its second year is the Upward Bound Math/Science Program, which is designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students. Serving 50 eligible students from four

Orange County high schools-Anaheim, Buena Park, Santiago and Savanna-the program helps students recognize and develop their potential to excel in math and science, and encourages them to pursue degrees in these fields.

Also in its second year at CSUF is the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Its goal is to increase the number of graduate degrees earned by students from underrepresented groups. Through the grant, the university has selected approximately 20 students currently studying natural science, mathematics and/or engineering and is preparing them for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

Now in its final year of a four-year grant, the Student Support Services program provides CSUF students opportunities for academic development, assistance with basic college requirements and endeavors to motivate them to successfully complete their undergraduate degrees. Serving 200 students, the program's goal is to increase retention and graduation rates through such services as mentoring, academic or financial counseling, assistance with securing financial support and tutoring.

In a partnership with the Anaheim Union High School District, city of Anaheim and Los Amigos, CSUF continues in its second year of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), to serve students at Sycamore Junior High and Anaheim High schools. The effort is modeled, in part, after former-President Bill Clinton's High Hopes for College proposal advocating partnerships between colleges and middle schools in low-income communities to help raise expectations and ensure successful college entry. GEAR UP encourages locally designed partnerships-colleges and low-income middle schools, plus at least two other partners-to increase university-bound rates among low-income youth. The program is serving all eighth-grade students-approximately 850-at Sycamore Junior High School and will continue until they graduate from Anaheim High School in 2005. Emphasis is being placed on improving the students' math abilities, thereby enabling them to fulfill the math entrance requirements of a four-year college or university.


Media Contact:
Dr. Silas H. Abrego, Student Affairs, at (714) 278-3221 or sabrego@fullerton.edu


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