Bolstered by a 2 year grant from the College Access Foundation of California, and the momentum of last year’s success of reaching a 70% financial aid application rate in Oakland Unified, East Bay CAN is moving full speed ahead into the new school year. The grant provides for East Bay CAN to continue the work of embedding its financial aid completion model, the Four Phases of Financial Aid, into the policies and practices of Oakland Unified. The grant provides 50 scholarships to be used to assist OUSD in increasing its financial aid completion rates by 5% each year.
The new grant also provides the CAN with the opportunity to expand its partnership with OUSD and the Peralta Community College District to engage in a process to identify and implement strategies that could fundamentally change the system-wide access to college success for students across both institutions. With technical support from the Carnegie Foundation over the next six months, the collaborative will engage in a Networked Improvement Community process to support the development of data-driven strategies and measurements that can drive the new project.
These efforts will build on the new state financial aid legislation, from the DREAM loan to the required Cal Grant GPA upload that provide an impetus to prioritize college access for students. As California districts gear up to adopt these new policies, East Bay CAN has formalized a Four Phases of Financial Aid district-wide toolkit to take lessons learned from Oakland to other California districts.
MFEF’s Summer Pre-College Events
This past summer the Marcus Foster Education Fund held two summer events for Bay Area youth from the Class of 2014 – “Get Ready for College and “All Aboard Oakland” – each held at Laney College in July and August. The events brought together 50-100 recent graduates and their parents for a day of workshops, discussions and presentations from local community organizations and college professionals. College and professional representatives came from UC Berkeley, Chabot College, Cal State East Bay, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Fresno Pacific University, East Bay College Fund, SPAAT, Young Scholars Program, Centro Legal de la Raza and the OMEGA Boys Club of San Francisco. The “All Aboard Oakland,” event was aptly captured by EduSource highlighting the voices of the students and parents for their September 1st publication concerning Summer Melt—the phenomena of many highly ready first generation youth who, during the summer prior their first year of college, “melt away” due to unexpected circumstances that disrupt their path to college.
For a first-hand perspective on the high school to college transition, see the article, A Summer Boost for Scholars from our summer intern and College Bound Brotherhood scholar, Ryan Burbridge.