California State University, Stanislaus will use a $402,354 grant from the CSU system to partner with area high schools to reduce the number of students who need remedial education.
The grant will enable the University to plan and establish support programs in mathematics and English with four regional high schools that send large numbers of graduates to CSU Stanislaus. The high schools are Turlock, Lincoln of Stockton, Modesto, and Johansen of Modesto.
As one of the campuses selected by the CSU to receive the grant, CSU Stanislaus will provide faculty and student tutors to work regularly with high school faculty and students. The CSU has placed a high priority on making sure incoming high school students are prepared for college-level mathematics and English classes. Statistics over the past several years reveal that about half of CSU Stanislaus students end up in remedial mathematics and English classes after placement testing.
Combined with other pre-collegiate partnership programs that CSU Stanislaus is conducting with regional high schools, the newest effort that will get under way after the funds are received in the next few weeks is expected to pay dividends through its focus on improved academic standards. The University is also placing more emphasis on working with current students to put a priority on meeting their math and English requirements well before their senior year.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for collaboration between the University and its feeder high schools," said Dr. Mary Cullinan, CSU Stanislaus Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences.
"It should increase the potential for more students to go on to colleges and universities by assuring that they have the required math and English skills," said Dr. Irma Guzman Wagner, Dean of the School of Education who teamed with Dr. Cullinan on the grant proposal to the CSU.
Dr. Cullinan said the two areas the new partnership will focus on are student support through tutoring by CSU Stanislaus students and monitoring of their progress and an alliance of faculty at the University and four high schools. Six faculty members from the CSU Stanislaus math and English departments and 24 tutors, a number of whom are teacher candidates, are expected to participate in the program.
Faculty from the University and the participating high schools will team up to put together a plan by the end of the current school year so that a full-fledged program can be in place by Fall 2000. High school students will receive tutoring starting in their junior year and faculty will meet regularly to establish program goals, conduct workshops, and articulate academic expectations of incoming students at CSU Stanislaus.
As Chair of a task force appointed in 1995 by the system's Board of Trustees, CSU Stanislaus President, Dr. Marvalene Hughes,has played a key role in the CSU's drive to reduce the need for math and English remediation courses by 2007. That panel is charged with forging programs that help the CSU work more closely with K-12 schools to improve student preparation for college-level studies.
"It is our resolve to do all we can at our University and in concert with K-12 to assure that students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed at the college level," Dr. Hughes said. "CSU Stanislaus is enthusiastic about the difference this program is going to make for high school students in this region who have set their sights on college."
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