By Michael Burke, EdSource
California community college students pursuing an associate degree will soon likely have a new course requirement: a three-unit ethnic studies class.
This week, the statewide Board of Governors that oversees California’s 116 community colleges will hold a public hearing on a proposal to add the class to the community college system’s general education requirements. The board is then expected to vote on the change in July.
If the board approves the new requirement as expected, it would mean that every student seeking an associate degree will need to take a class in Native American studies, African American studies, Asian American studies or Latina and Latino studies. The state chancellor’s office has not yet determined when the requirement would be implemented. The earliest it could take effect would be for incoming first-year students in fall 2022.
Source: California’s community colleges move to require ethnic studies – The Reporter
Among the many disruptions caused by the pandemic is a decline in the number of students filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is used to apply for college financial aid.
FAFSA form completions are often seen as a harbinger of future enrollment. The decline of applications this year, especially among low-income students, has some experts worried.
“This year is clawing back relative to last year, but it’s still not a good FAFSA completion situation,” said Bill DeBaun, director of data and evaluation for the National College Attainment Network.
Source: FAFSA Completions Down In CA: How Dixon Area Schools Compare | Dixon, CA Patch
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
The UC governing board voted in May to largely discontinue the use of entrance exams, dealing a major blow to the College Board and ACT, which rely heavily on revenue the tests generate. A federal judge later ruled, and an appeals court upheld, that the system couldn’t use the SAT or ACT when making decisions on admissions or scholarships for fall 2021.
As part of the system’s initial move to phase out the tests, its leaders said they would study whether they could create or adapt an admissions test to be available for fall 2025 applicants.
Source: U of California groups recommend Smarter Balanced test to replace SAT, ACT | Higher Ed Dive
By Ashley A. Smith
Colleges, students and faculty members may be unsure of what lies ahead as they brace for another mostly virtual academic term amid a pandemic, but the crisis could force California’s higher education systems to improve.
The state’s colleges and universities could use the current crisis to build better partnerships across the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges and private institutions to increase access and improve graduation rates. That was the message from Lande Ajose, a senior policy advisor for higher education to Gov. Gavin Newsom, and ECMC Foundation President Peter Taylor during a webinar Wednesday hosted by California Competes, a nonprofit focused on improving graduation outcomes. The organization released a new data dashboard that found uneven educational opportunities across the state. For example, Bay Area residents are most likely to have a bachelor’s degree, at 52%, compared to 17% of residents in the San Joaquin Valley.
Source: California’s higher education leaders see an opportunity in crisis – Times-Herald
By Tim Goree
FSUSD and Solano Community College Collaborate to Grow Early College High School Program.
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Early College High School (ECHS) program is growing! In the 2020-2021 school year, ECHS will add 68 students to the 247 students that they currently serve. The new additional students will be split evenly between the ninth and tenth grades. An additional 34 students will be added to the freshman classes in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years to increase the overall school population to nearly 400. The extra capacity will alleviate a growing waitlist of students eager to enter the successful program.
Source: Press Release: FSUSD’s Early College High School Program Grows
By Daily Republic Staff
Foxboro Elementary has earned membership in the No Excuses University Network of Schools.
To earn membership into this network, Foxboro needed to complete an extensive online application focused on the “Six Exceptional Systems” the school has developed based on the No Excuses University model.
The school also was required to submit a video to the No Excuses University Application Committee to demonstrate the “culture of universal achievement” they have developed on their campus.
Foxboro earned the recognition by demonstrating a commitment to college and career readiness and through efforts to ensure all children meet standards in reading, writing and math, no matter their challenges, according to a press release.
Source: Foxboro a new member of No Excuses University Network of Schools
By Nick Sestanovich
Foxboro Elementary School is continuing to ensure college and career readiness for its students starting from a young age.
To make this easier, the school has earned membership to the No Excuses University Network of Schools, according to a Travis Unified School District news release.
The program was founded in San Diego in 2004 by Damon Lopez, district officials wrote. It seeks to build a bridge for all students to attend college or join the workforce by promoting a comprehensive college readiness model starting in pre-kindergarten. Currently, hundreds of schools are participating in the program.
Source: Foxboro Elementary becomes partner in college readiness program – The Reporter
By Thomas Gase
Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program instructor Tiffanee Jones was overcome with emotion Tuesday afternoon at John Finney High School as she hugged student Tayleese Deans. Jones’ motto at work is to make a dream become a reality and that’s exactly what she was witnessing with kids at the U-CAN go to college Historically Black Colleges and Universities Recruitment Fair.
“All of this is too overwhelming,” Jones said after momentarily crying with tears of joy. “I’ve known a lot of these kids for five to six years, some as far back even as when they were in second grade. It’s been kind of like a relay to college.”
Approximately 25 colleges were at the school’s gym to give students advice and application fee waivers and to be admitted on the spot if qualified. Some were even given scholarships and financial aid if they qualified.
Source: Dreams become reality for students at historical black college fair in Vallejo – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland,
Justin Robinson, 17, of Vacaville High School, came to the annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair hosted by Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday looking to his future.
“I want to be a pastor,” he said.
The majority of black colleges are on the East Coast but that didn’t bother him at all.
“My family can fly out to see me,” Robinson said.
His family is predominantly teachers. He wants to follow his own path but still talk with people and help them to learn.
Source: Solano students look to future at college fair
By John Woolfolk
The organization that administers the SAT exam said Tuesday it has modified its controversial “adversity score” aimed at giving disadvantaged students a boost after criticism that it will only add to the uncertainty and anxiety plaguing college admissions.
The College Board said it has replaced its “Environmental Context Dashboard,” known as the “adversity score,” with a more transparent product called “Landscape.”
“We listened to thoughtful criticism and made Landscape better and more transparent,” said David Coleman, CEO of College Board, in a news statement Tuesday. “Landscape provides admissions officers more consistent background information so they can fairly consider every student, no matter where they live and learn.”
Source: College Board modifies controversial SAT ‘adversity score’ after criticism – Times-Herald
By Times Herald
Fewer college students will presumably go hungry with the Legislature’s passing of Sen. Bill Dodd’s College Student Food Insecurity Bill, his office announced.
A bill from the Napa Democrat that addresses the growing problem of college student food insecurity by ensuring low-income students have reliable access to nutritious food through the Cal Fresh program, was approved by the Legislature last week, according to the announcement.
“Students shouldn’t have to starve in order to get an education,” Dodd said in the announcement. “My bill will ensure students of modest means don’t go hungry by making it easier for them to receive public assistance. Food insecurity is a serious problem on California college campuses today and this is an important step to addressing it.”
Source: Dodd bill to fight hunger among college students passes – Times Herald
Nine students from the Fairfield Police Activities League on Tuesday were promised financial and mentoring support as they launch their college educations at Solano Community College.
The students signed contracts as part of the fifth annual Rotary Success Scholars program during a ceremony held at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Suisun City.
“These are nine students who would absolutely not be able to go to college otherwise,” Tara Dacus, a member of the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Club and one of the three founders of the scholars program, said in an interview.
Source: Rotary scholars sign contracts to help in college journey – Daily Republic
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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