Campus: CSU, Los Angeles -- March 29, 2000

Fifty Middle School Science Scholars In Week-Long "Residency" At California State University, Los Angeles

Residency is part of the only four-week intensive program of its kind in the country serving "off-track" middle school students during the academic year

Los Angeles, CA-Fifty seventh and eighth grade students from the Los Angeles Unified School District "B-track" year-round schools are currently "in residence" in the ACCESS Center Middle School Science Scholars (MS3) Program at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State L.A.). The residency is part of an intensive four-week program that focuses on mathematics, scientific inquiry, computer applications and creative expression. MS3 is the only science-focused residential program in the country that serves year-round underrepresented middle school students during the academic year.

During the program, students reside in campus housing from Monday through Friday, pursuing academic success under the guidance of current Cal State L.A. students who act as resident advisors and teaching assistants. Daily study groups and tutoring sessions, as well as field trips to the California Science Center, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory provide students with "real life" examples of math and science applications. These activities enhance a rigorous math, science, language arts, and technology studies curriculum.

ACCESS also provides academic follow-up in the form of five Saturday Science Academy sessions that give students the opportunity to perform laboratory experiments, work in Cal State L.A. computer labs, and conduct research in the University's John F. Kennedy Memorial Library. The young students also are given the opportunity to interact and network with alumni of the MS3 Program. As part of a long-term study of the effectiveness of its direct student intervention and community outreach efforts, the Cal State L.A. ACCESS Center continues academic monitoring of student grades and enrollment in college preparatory classes after these follow-up sessions.

This is the sixth year that the ACCESS Center has conducted a Middle School Science Scholars Program. A total of 299 students have successfully completed the four-week residential program, which also includes parent orientation and campus tours that involve the principals from the schools that refer students.

Twelve Los Angeles Unified School District schools have collaborated with the ACCESS Center during the last six years. Principals, teachers and guidance counselors report that students who have completed the MS3 program have improved attendance, higher enrollment in the college preparatory sequence of classes, improved attitude, and 70 percent are enrolled in science or math honor classes.

For more information on MS3 program, call program coordinator Justin Shuffer at (323) 343-3025.

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