Standardized Testing and College Eligibility – Public Policy Institute of California

By Courtney Lee and Jacob Jackson

In California and across the nation, there has been a growing focus on increasing college access by improving college readiness for high school students and encouraging more eligible students to attend college. To this end, many states and educational institutions have changed how they use college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.

One approach has been to have more students take the SAT or ACT in hopes of identifying those who are eligible for college but might not have taken a college entrance exam on their own. As of 2016–17, 25 states use the SAT or ACT as their standardized test for 11th graders.

Assemblymember O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) has proposed AB 1951, which would give districts the option to use the SAT or ACT in place of California’s 11th-grade standardized test. Though Governor Brown vetoed the bill at the end of the 2017–18 legislative session, O’Donnell promised to bring it back in the next session, when California has a new governor.

Source: Standardized Testing and College Eligibility – Public Policy Institute of California

Educators can learn from California Community College system leader – The Reporter

By Doug Ford

At last someone in Californian education is approaching long-needed reforms in the way I have long been advocating. Eloy Ortiz Oakley is the first Latino educator to lead the California Community College (CCC) system, selected in July 2016 and installed as chancellor on Dec. 10, 2016. He was with the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) from 2002 to 2016, serving as Superintendent-President from 2007 to 2016. Under his leadership the LBCCD “received numerous awards and recognitions for its efforts to improve student completion rates and for directly supporting a strong business and entrepreneurship eco-system throughout the greater Southern California region” (California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office biography).

The best-known initiative he is recognized for is the Long Beach College Promise, worked out by partnering with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), and California State University at Long Beach (CSULB). Through the College Promise, “LBUSD administrators and high school teachers work with college faculty and staff to create clear structured pathways for students to follow as they move from one education institution to another.

Source: Doug Ford: Educators can learn from California Community College system leader – The Reporter

California Community Colleges Are Transforming Developmental Education – Public Policy Institute of California

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia

With the passage of AB 705 in October 2017, California community colleges are in the midst of a major transformation of developmental education. The new law requires that community colleges restructure developmental education to maximize the likelihood that students will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and mathematics/quantitative reasoning in a one-year time frame.

Full implementation of AB 705 is expected no later than fall 2019. As colleges replace standardized test scores with high school records as their primary placement criteria, it is likely that the majority of entering students will enroll in transfer-level courses. To improve the likelihood of success, especially among students with the lowest high school performance levels, colleges are being encouraged to implement curricular reforms as well. Co-requisite remediation is an essential component of these reforms: it allows students who would otherwise be deemed underprepared to enroll directly in transfer-level math or English courses with concurrent remedial support.

While the vast majority of the state’s 114 community colleges have not yet implemented co-requisite models, a few colleges began experimenting with co-requisites and other reforms before the passage of AB 705. According to a recent PPIC report that looks at the efforts of these “early implementers,” co-requisites in English are more common than those in math. Nine California community colleges provided co-requisite courses in English to about 3,000 students in 2016–17 (the latest year of available data), and at least seven additional colleges began offering English co-requisite models in 2017–18.

Source: California Community Colleges Are Transforming Developmental Education – Public Policy Institute of California

Bethel High to host 19th annual HBCU recruitment fair in Vallejo – Times Herald

By Times Herald Staff

Students in Vallejo will have an opportunity to learn about and apply to several historically black colleges and universities in the 19th annual recruitment fair on Sept. 10.

The Vallejo City Unified School District, in partnership with the Willie B. Adkins Scholarship Program, will host the fair which is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jesse Bethel High School, 1800 Ascot Parkway.

Students will be able to speak with recruiters from 30 to 40 different historically black colleges and universities which offer various majors and professional degrees.

Those in attendance will receive application fee waivers, on the spot admissions from selected colleges (if qualified), and receive scholarships (if qualified).

Source: Bethel High to host 19th annual HBCU recruitment fair in Vallejo

Upward Bound program still has openings for Vacaville high school students – The Reporter

By Jessica Rogness

A federally funded college advising and tutoring program that recently expanded to Vacaville high school students still has openings for the summer and fall semesters.

Plan of Action for Challenging Times’s (PACT) program services — free tutoring, college advising, mentoring and enrichment, among others — have been extended to the Vacaville Unified School District for grades 9-12 as part of the Department of Education’s Upward Bound program.

PACT’s program services include:

• College admissions assistance and information.

• Academic tutoring, mentoring, coaching and enrichment.

• SAT/ACT registration.

• Academic profiles.

• Career exploration.

Source: Upward Bound program still has openings for Vacaville high school students

High school students pick up medical knowledge at Touro University – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Twenty-one students from high schools across Solano, Contra Costa and Napa counties got a hands-on experience at Touro University California’s seventh annual Biotech Academy Summer Internship Program.

Students participated from June 18 to Thursday in several intensive sessions on a variety of topics, including osteopathic medicine, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, anatomy, diversity and inclusion in medicine, and nursing.

They used an ultrasound during a lab exercise and got a first-hand look at how Touro conducts outreach by providing free diabetes screenings to community members through its Mobile Diabetes Education Center.

Source: High school students pick up medical knowledge at Touro University

Foundation announces 10 scholarships to Vacaville grads – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Ten graduates from Vacaville public high schools have been awarded scholarships from the Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Vacaville Endowment Fund.

Seven of the scholarships are four-year awards for $3,500 per year. The others are one-year scholarships.

The four-year scholarships are going to Alyssa Barling (Vacaville High); Jenna Kitzes, Brett Stout and Sarah Williamson (Will C. Wood); and Ruth Bowen, Zoe Johnson, and Asia Lew-Douglas (Buckingham).

Source: Foundation announces 10 scholarships to Vacaville grads

Vallejo students eligible to earn college credit over summer – Times Herald

By John Glidden

College credit, free tuition and textbooks — what’s the catch?

Apparently none, as Solano Community College, in partnership with the Vallejo City Unified School District, is offering the opportunity for local high school students to enroll in one of seven boot camp courses over the summer.

Source: Vallejo students eligible to earn college credit over summer

Solano County students majoring in agricultural field have opportunity for scholarships – The Reporter

Multiple $10,000 scholarships are being awarded by the Julia I. Carrington Foundation to undergraduate students majoring in an agricultural field who attended high school in Solano County.

Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and plan to, or currently attend, a California University that offers a Bachelor’s degree or higher in an agricultural field. Scholarships can be applied for year-round and are awarded throughout the year.

Consideration is given first to applicants who have resided in Solano County for a minimum of two years and have a family member who derives their living from farming or other agricultural means.

Scholarships will be paid directly to the university.

Source: Solano County students majoring in agricultural field have opportunity for scholarships

Info meeting about Vacaville Early College High School tonight at Jepson Middle School – The Reporter

By Reporter Staff

It is, perhaps, one of the best college tuition deals in the nation and it is available to Vacaville high school students.

A parent informational meeting about Vacaville Early College High School, or VECHS for short, is set for 6 tonight at Jepson Middle School, 580 Elder St.

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session. For more information about VECHS and the enrollment process, visit https://vechs-vusd-ca.schoolloop.com.

Vacaville Unified officials are accepting applications for the 2018-19 academic year, with a deadline of March 29.

Applications also may be picked up at the counseling offices at Vaca Pena Middle School, 200 Keith Way, at Jepson, or at the district’s Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road.

Source: Info meeting about Vacaville Early College High School tonight at Jepson Middle School

Parent info meetings set for Early College High School program – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

It is, perhaps, one of the best college tuition deals in the nation and it is available to Vacaville high school students.

Parent informational meetings about Vacaville Early College High School, or VECHS for short, are set for 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at Vaca Pena Middle School, at 200 Keith Way; and at 6 p.m. March 6 at Jepson Middle School, 580 Elder St.

Each presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session. For more information about VECHS and the enrollment process, visit https://vechs-vusd-ca.schoolloop.com.

Vacaville Unified officials are accepting applications for the 2018-19 academic year, with an application deadline of March 29.

Applications also may be picked up at the Vaca Pena or Jepson counseling offices or at the district’s Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road.

Source: Parent info meetings set for Early College High School program

Do State ESSA Plans Have Strong Connections to Higher Education? – Education Week

By Andrew Ujifusa

We’ve written a lot about states’ long term goals in their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act. Some of those goals deal with students’ successful transition from K-12 schools to higher education. But the extent to which states are aligning those two systems varies, at least as far as their ESSA plans go.

That’s one general conclusion reached in an analysis of ESSA plans released Wednesday by the Education Strategy Group, a consulting firm that works on college- and career-readiness with state education departments, districts, and education-oriented groups.

The group’s report found that 41 states addressed college- and career-readiness in some fashion in their proposed ESSA accountability systems. However, just 17 states “directly linked their long-term K-12 goals in ESSA to the state’s higher education attainment goals.”

Source: Do State ESSA Plans Have Strong Connections to Higher Education? – Politics K-12 – Education Week

California community college tuition still the lowest nationally | EdSource

By Larry Gordon

While California continues to have the lowest community college tuition in the county, the costs for UC rank above the average of other research universities, a new report shows.

Listed at $1,430 for a full-time student, the tuition and fees for California’s community colleges are the lowest nationwide in 2017-18, as they have been for years, according to the study by the College Board. That annual price, before being adjusted for financial aid, is less than half the $3,570 national average, the survey found.

California’s ranking as having the least expensive community colleges was not affected by plans in other states like Tennessee and New York that offer free college tuition in various forms and durations. The College Board noted that those states still establish a tuition level and that their programs are partly dependent on federal aid or cut off the grants for higher income students. California Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law that could make the first year of community college free to all if funding is allocated and the schools adopts key reforms.

Source: California community college tuition still the lowest nationally; UC above average, study finds. | EdSource

Higher education options abound throughout Solano County – Daily Republic

The list of available colleges to pursue a higher education in or near Solano County is plentiful for area residents.

The colleges give prospective students the opportunity to initiate higher education, pad their resume by expanding their knowledge, update an existing degree, learn a vocational trade or increase their current upper education degree by obtaining a master’s or doctorate.

Source: Higher education options abound throughout Solano County

ESSA’s New High School Testing Flexibility: What’s the Catch? – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

When the Every Student Succeeds Act passed, one of the things that educators were most excited about was the chance to cut down on the number of tests kids have to take, Specifically, the law allows some districts to offer a nationally recognized college-entrance exam instead of the state test for accountability.

But that flexibility could be more complicated than it appears on paper.

Here’s a case in point: Oklahoma, which hasn’t finalized its ESSA application yet, has already gotten pushback from the feds for the way that it had planned to implement the locally selected high school test option in a draft ESSA plan posted on the state department’s website. In that plan, Oklahoma sought to offer its districts a choice of two nationally recognized tests, the ACT or the SAT. Importantly, the state’s draft plan didn’t endorse one test over the other—both were considered equally okay.

Source: ESSA’s New High School Testing Flexibility: What’s the Catch? – Politics K-12 – Education Week

Cal State drops intermediate algebra as requirement to take some college-level math courses | EdSource

By Mikhail Zinshteyn

A new policy from the California State University system will soon allow some students to take math classes with pre-requisites other than intermediate algebra to satisfy the math requirements they need for graduation.

The new rules go into effect starting in the fall of 2018 and will apply to both CSU freshmen and community college students transferring into the 23-university system. The changes will permit students who are not pursuing math or science majors to take non-algebra based math courses for general education, such as statistics, personal finance or even game theory and computer science.

Source: Cal State drops intermediate algebra as requirement to take some college-level math courses | EdSource

Betsy DeVos Is a K-12 Advocate. So Why All the Action in Higher Ed? – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

When Betsy DeVos was tapped as U.S. Education Secretary, educators and advocates were terrified the longtime voucher fan would try to “privatize” the nation’s schools. But DeVos has now been in office for going on six months, and she’s been way more active on higher education than she has on K-12.

We’re still waiting around for the details of a big, new school choice plan. Meanwhile, DeVos and company have been slowly scaling back, pausing, or moving to overhaul Obama-era student financial aid regulations.

Recently, for instance, the department started gathering information to begin reworking two Obama rules. One, gainful employment, seeks to hold schools accountable for whether or not their graduates are able to find jobs that allow them to repay their student loans. The other, “borrower defense,” deals with how students who have been defrauded by lenders can seek loan forgiveness. (Great explainer from U.S. News here.) Supporters say those regulations were designed to protect borrowers, but detractors say they are overly punitive and unnecessarily hurt schools and lenders.

Source: Betsy DeVos Is a K-12 Advocate. So Why All the Action in Higher Ed? – Politics K-12 – Education Week

18 states sue DeVos for delaying for-profit college rules – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Democratic attorneys general from 18 states, including California, and the District of Columbia sued U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Thursday over her decision to suspend rules that were meant to protect students from abuse by for-profit colleges.

Filed in federal court in Washington, the lawsuit says DeVos violated rule-making laws when she announced a June 14 decision to delay so-called “borrower defense to repayment” rules, which were finalized under President Barack Obama and scheduled to take effect July 1.

In her announcement saying the rules would be delayed and rewritten, DeVos said they created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools.”

Source: 18 states sue DeVos for delaying for-profit college rules

Solano College 4-year degree program represents wave of the future – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The wave of the future is upon us and it is happening at a unique intersection that has Solano County on the cutting edge of technological and academic development.

Existing manufacturing companies in a range of fields are finding a lack of qualified workers to fill numerous positions across the country. As a result, government, industry and academia have collaborated to help fill that employment void.

That’s where a newly developed biomanufacturing degree program offered through Solano Community College comes in. The degree program is a new frontier – a four-year degree option at a traditionally two-year setting. Students graduating from the program will learn how to grow living cells that can then be applied to a range of purposes, from health care to beer making.

Source: Solano College 4-year degree program represents wave of the future

California middle class families may still get scholarship help | EdSource

By Larry Gordon

The California Legislature’s final actions this year on higher education funding will please some middle-income families but may lead to conflicts with Gov. Jerry Brown.

The embattled Middle Class Scholarship program that Brown sought to end was kept alive in the conference committee budget legislation that both houses are expected to approve this week. Saying it was too expensive and not efficient, Brown wanted to phase out the program that provided aid for about 50,000 middle class students at California’s two public university systems this year. But parents around the state whose income was not low enough to qualify for Cal Grants lobbied the Legislature for the Middle Class aid to continue.

Source: California middle class families may still get scholarship help | EdSource