A new partnership amongst community partners throughout Stanislaus County will promote a college-going culture for low-income students, giving them the opportunity to achieve their college and career goals.
The Stanislaus Community Foundation launched Stanislaus Futures this month. With three focus areas — access, attain and align — the initiative is a long-term, large-scale effort to increase the number of college graduates in Stanislaus County.
“Stanislaus Futures is about the community aligning with our education institutions to create a college-going culture in the region,” said Marian Kaanon, CEO of Stanislaus Community Foundation. “We want to ensure that families and students know there are multiple post-high school options for them, including college.”
Stanislaus Futures helps students navigate the complicated road to higher education, persist through college and earn a bachelor’s degree with three focus areas.
The first focus area “Access” aims to educate students and their parents about college options and access to financial aid. “Attain” centers on building and administering strategic, needs-based scholarship funds to students with the most financial need. Lastly “Align” focuses on working with high school districts and institutions of higher education to embrace best practices.
To support the last focus area, Stanislaus Community Foundation is partnering with local educational institutions to help students graduate college. Among community partners are Stanislaus State, Modesto Junior College, University of California, Merced and Turlock Unified School District.
“TUSD decided to partner with Stanislaus Community Foundation because we saw this as an opportunity to collaborate with neighboring school districts, Modesto Junior College and Stanislaus State in an effort to increase the college-going culture for students in our region,” said TUSD Director of Assessment and Accountability Marjorie Bettencourt.
“We feel this Foundation provides a platform for vertical articulation throughout the K-16 educational system, and resources to address the needs of Turlock students in order to promote a positive transition into a higher educational institution,” continued Bettencourt.
As part of Stanislaus Futures, TUSD will be on the Steering Committee by providing and analyzing data to identify issues and challenges that arise in the transition from high school to college. Through these collaborative efforts, TUSD will engage in discussions and recommend strategies and actions to improve this transition.
“We hope Stanislaus Futures will benefit TUSD students by offering the strategies and resources to improve the transition from high school to college,” said Bettencourt. “Knowing that many jobs in the future will require a four-year degree, TUSD is continually looking for ways to increase college opportunities for all students, including low-income and first-generation students, and remove barriers that keep many students that have the ability and desire to go to college from attending.”
For more information on Stanislaus Futures, visit stanislausfutures.org.