Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García joined other educational leaders from Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana College and UC Irvine in celebrating today's (Sept. 10) launch of the Award for Innovation in Higher Education in Orange County, a state-funded effort to increase student achievement and close equity gaps in college education.
In March, Santa Ana College was one of 14 institutions of higher education selected to receive $5 million from the California Department of Finance to help fund the Award for Innovation in Higher Education in Orange County and the Santa Ana Partnership's efforts to increase access to a high-quality college education.
As part of the effort, the community college will share a portion of the award with UCI and CSUF to establish guaranteed transfer agreements for Santa Ana students who have graduated from SAC.
Cal State Fullerton and UCI will each receive a $1 million endowment, which each university will match, to underwrite scholarships for eligible Santa Ana Unified School District graduates who enrolled at CSUF or UCI as freshmen or as transfer students from Santa Ana College. The first scholarships will be awarded in fall 2016.
"This award is both life-changing for the diverse students who earn its support and game-changing for the communities in which they will one day build careers and raise families," said CSUF President García. "It is yet another step in our collaborative effort to bridge the achievement gap through equitable access to higher education, from preschool to Ph.D. and beyond.
"The Santa Ana Partnership and the academic institutions and school district involved in its laudable work are exactly that: innovative partners whose passion and support put our students on an academic journey we aim to see them complete on the commencement stage at Cal State Fullerton," García said. "I am so proud to work with the Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana College and UC Irvine, and pleased to see our circle of influence spreading throughout our diverse communities."
"The Santa Ana Partnership has worked to support student achievement and close equity gaps since 1983. SAC is proud to be the backbone organization for the partnership as the open access institution between the K-12 education system and the universities," said Santa Ana College President Erlinda J. Martinez. "In collaboration with SAUSD, UCI and CSUF, as well as numerous community organizations, we can achieve our goal of having a college degree in every home in Santa Ana by 2025."