Alvord Unified School District’s partnership with San Diego State University to develop more effective school counseling was one of efforts announced, as was Cal State San Bernardino’s action to increase the number of graduates from its College of Natural Sciences by 25 percent in five years.
The county Education Collaborative formed in July after a request from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Young to gather a team, come to Washington and talk about preparing more students to go to college and earn degrees, Young said.
Federal officials asked the county to make commitments in four areas to improve college-going rates, Young said.
Temecula and Murrieta valley unified school districts are working with Mt. San Jacinto College and Cal State San Marcos, which has a Temecula campus. Moreno Valley and Val Verde unified school districts are working with Moreno Valley College and UC Riverside.
Representatives of those schools and colleges have been meeting monthly, and others are joining from other parts of the county, Young said.
“Overall, we’ve been working on increasing our county’s college-going rate,” Young said. The Riverside County Office of Education and schools have worked on many steps and are now targeting four areas with four school districts, he said.
By gathering and sharing data, schools, colleges and communities can focus on their goals and rally community support, the president said. For instance, high school counselors can see how many students have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and focus on the students who have not, Young said.
Alvord Superintendent Sid Salazar said his work at the Day of Action focused on making school counselors more effective at getting low-income, Latino and black students ready for college and empowering them to do their jobs. That work starts before kindergarten, he said.
Identifying and implementing collaborative partnerships like this are evidence of catalyst of innovation in Riverside. Our leaders are constantly developing inventive approaches to equip our students for college readiness.
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