Students attending five area high schools will have access to a variety of special opportunities during the 2012-13 academic year through a $250,000 grant recently awarded to Jamestown Community College.
Partnering with JCC on a College Access Challenge Grant are Brocton Central School, Dunkirk High School, Jamestown High School, Olean High School and Salamanca Central School. Students attending the Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center in Jamestown will also be able to access College Access Challenge Grant program service.
The grant is funded through a $7 million College Access Challenge Grant award received by New York state from the U.S. Department of Education. New York's College Access Challenge Grant program is administered by the state Higher Education Services Corporation, the state's financial aid agency.
According to Ashley Kalish, who will direct the yearlong program for JCC, the College Access Challenge Grant is designed to increase the number of low income, minority and underserved students who are prepared to apply for, get accepted to and succeed in college.
"Several program components will have an intense impact on students identified by their school counselors as being at highest risk of academic failure and not completing high school," Ms. Kalish said. These components include:
academic mentoring throughout the school year in conjunction with Chautauqua Striders;
Summer 2013 Residential College Access Academy, focusing on college awareness and leadership for students in ninth and 10th grades;
Summer 2013 Residential College Access Academy and SAT/ACT Boot Camp providing students completing 11th grade with daily prep courses for the SAT and/or ACT exams;
scholarships for seniors to take college courses through JCC's Pre-College Enrollment program; and
opportunities to shadow college students at JCC's Jamestown, Olean or Dunkirk locations.
Many College Access Challenge Grant program components are designed to have a strong impact on broader groups of students. These include:
visits to regional two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities for students at each grade level;
High School 101 workshops for students and families, covering topics on transitioning from middle to high school, graduation requirements, concurrent enrollment opportunities, college searches, and career pathways;
College 101 workshops for juniors and their families, focusing on the college selection process, career exploration, and financial aid;
career events at JCC's Jamestown and Cattaraugus County campuses,
FAFSA, financial literacy, and financial aid workshops for students and parents; and
precollege testing preparation for PSAT, SAT, and ACT exams.
College Access Challenge Grant funds will also support professional development activities for guidance counselors and high school faculty teaching in JCC's College Connections concurrent enrollment program.
Families within the partner school districts seeking more information about CACG programs and services should contact their high school principals or Ms. Kalish at 338-1101 or 800-388-8557, ext. 1101.