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14 Grants Awarded to Improve College Attendance




Sandy Connolly
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

Fourteen Minnesota programs that support students in preparing for and pursuing postsecondary education will receive $446,000 in grants announced this week by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The competitive grant program supports Minnesota institutions and non-profit organizations that help students in grades six through 12 who are low income or represent groups that are traditionally underserved in higher education with tutoring, guidance and preparation skills that will increase their chances for participation and success in higher education.

"Thousands of young people still have no role model or mentor to look to when considering their options beyond high school," said Susan Heegaard, Director of the Office of Higher Education. "These early intervention programs can make all the difference."

The grant funds were made available under the Minnesota Higher Education Omnibus Bill of 2005, which reinstated funding for the program after a cut two years ago. All programs receiving grants from the Intervention for College Attendance Program emphasize academic achievement as the cornerstone to the success of their program, with tutoring and academic advising important components. Each program brings its own customized approaches to the unique groups of students it serves.

"The funded programs are designed to provide pre-college services that prepare students academically and socially so that their access to college and their potential for success in college is increased," said Nancy Walters, Program Manager for the Office of Higher Education.

To be eligible to apply for a matching grant, a program must serve students who are defined as low income or who are members of a group traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Each project will collect data on the success of its students through high school and college. The Office of Higher Education will identify and share characteristics of the most effective programs. Programs may be eligible for continued funding in the summer of 2006.

2006 Grant Recipients
Intervention for College Attendance Program

St. Olaf College Mentoring and Parent Program (MAPP) receives $42,000
Northfield (Minneapolis/St. Paul)

The Mentoring and Parent Program will intensify the impact of St. Olaf's pre-college TRIO Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs. MAPP will serve 400 low-income youth in grades 6-12 and their families. The target schools are Minneapolis Northeast Middle School, Washburn and North High Schools in Minneapolis, Central and Humboldt High Schools in St. Paul and Red Wing High School. Over 200 college student mentors and 60 alumni mentors will be trained to offer services that will allow participating students to become better writers, be more motivated to attend college, become more knowledgeable about postsecondary education, and become more aware of career opportunities available to college graduates.
Contact: Heather Campbell (507) 646-3708 and Janis Johnson (507) 646-3780 or

Jump Start, of Minneapolis Community and Technical College, receives $38,000

One hundred low-income, first-generation students from Olson Middle School in Minneapolis will participate in weekly tutoring, academic and personal assessment and advising, financial aid and college information, college tours, tours of businesses and professional organizations, career assessment and advising, transition services from middle school into high school, workshops and activities for parents, and quarterly meetings. As a second program component, the students will participate in a two week summer academic program on the MCTC campus.
Contact: Katherine Davis (612) 624-1040

Upward Bound, Lake Superior College, receives $34,000

Low-income and first-generation students in ninth through 12th grade will work with two advisors who will provide academic, career, and personal advising to fifty students. Tutors will provide weekly tutoring. Senior-year students will participate in a financial aid workshop from the college financial aid director and one-on-one help from advisors. During the summer, students will participate in enrichment classes from certified teachers in the areas of English, literature, science, math, foreign language, and an elective. The summer program will also provide field trips that will include campus visits, cultural activities, career exploration, and social and recreation activities.
Contact: R. Jeannette Turchi (218)733-5931

Promoting Academic Success, St. Cloud State University, receives $40,000
St. Cloud

Students in seventh through 12th grades in St. Cloud Area School District 742 who are African-American and demonstrate risk factors for poor academic achievement will participate in intensive mentoring, academic tutoring, academic enrichment activities, cultural programming, college admissions and financial assistance workshops and seminars, and summer residential programs. A pre-test/post-test control group design will be used to measure changes in attitudes toward postsecondary education. A statistical model will be used to estimate the program's effect on student success and participation. About 40 students will participate in the program.
Contact: Dr. Robert C. Johnson (320) 308-4928 or (320) 308-3036

Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes, Northfield Public Schools, receives $40,000

Eighty Northfield students in grades six through 12 who are Latino will engage in a program aimed at increasing the graduation and postsecondary participation rates. The program will include individual academic counseling, one-on-one mentoring and tutoring, individual admissions and financial aid counseling, college orientation trips, monthly career and college workshops, a college fair for families, summer enrichment opportunities and assistance with scholarship applications.
Contact: Marnie Thompson (507) 645-3450

Minnesota TRIO Day and College Fair, Minnesota Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (North Hennepin Community College), receives $6,000
Brooklyn Park

Students in the metro area participating in Minnesota pre-collegiate TRIO programs will be invited to participate in a one-day, statewide TRIO student development conference and college fair. The event will provide students with sessions designed to increase their knowledge of and exposure to academic enrichment and career awareness and exploration activities, college life, and the collegiate experiences of TRIO students. Four hundred students are expected to participate.
Contact: Shelly Siegel (763) 424-0904

Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE) receives $38,000
St. Paul

The capacity of three organizations (Hmong American Mutual Assistance Association, Minnesota African Womens Association, and La Escuelita) will be strengthened to support, nurture, and guide young women to complete high school and enroll in postsecondary education. Through seminars, group activities, support services, and strong collaboration between community-based organizations and educational institutions, the project will work with 48 young women in junior and senior high school and their parents in the South East Asian, East and West African, and Latino community. The project aims to nurture resiliency in the participants and provide them with the tools and skills to set goals, complete high school, and plan for and remain in college.
Contact: Dr. Wilhelmina V. Holder (651) 646-3268

Project ELY, Ely Community Resource, Inc., receives $16,000

Youth in grades six through 12 in the Ely School District who are economically disadvantaged or who will be the first generation to attend college will participate in Project ELY. The project has three components: 1) Homework Club is a tutoring and homework help program for students referred by teachers and parents; 2) Study Club is a homework help and group study time for seventh- through 12th- graders with supportive staff and community college tutors who model high expectations, high standards, and social skills; and (3) SAFE, a fund to help youth purchase required school supplies and pay fees for educational and enrichment activities. The project's objectives are to help 35 participants improve their academic performance, build strong bonds to school and increase their self-confidence.
Contact: Patricia J. Zupancich (218) 365-5254

Achieve! Career and College Centers Initiative, receives $42,000

Students from North High School in Minneapolis will receive career and college planning through academic courses, advising to create a six-year plan for students that describes career goals, education and training needed for those goals, coursework, options for covering cost of higher education, and a timeline for application to higher education. Students will have access to a well-equipped Career/College Center to research career and college plans, to relevant work-based learning to support career exploration, and to community-based programs about career and college planning. Business and community mentors and volunteers will assist students in making informed choices about career and college plans.
Contact: Susan Doherty (612) 722-3678

Quantum Opportunities Program, Summit Academy OIC, receives $25,000

Ninth graders at North High School in Minneapolis who have failed the Minnesota Basic Standards Test or who have not taken the test will enroll in an intensive program including: academic enrichment, parental involvement, and personal growth. The program coordinator and instructors provide tutoring and case management services and create a supportive environment for students. Community liaisons provide support for students and parents and provide connections with community resources. Each of the 100 students will follow an Individual Learning Plan, a goal-setting tool designed to identify a youth's educational and skill needs. Licensed teachers tutor students on homework and work with students, teachers, and parents to develop study and time management skills.
Contact: P. J. Hubbard (612) 278-2357 or (612) 377-0150

DREAM, the College of St. Scholastica, receives $42,000

Middle school students will participate in tutoring and career development activities while high school students will participate in a mentoring program, a five-week internship program, ACT preparation, career exploration, college visits and continued tutoring. Seventy-five students are expected to participate.
Contact: Amy Galarowicz (218) 723-6760

Admission Possible receives $26,000

Through ICAP funding, Admission Possible will work with 35 additional low-income students from Roosevelt Senior High School in Minneapolis to help them learn about the college application process, prepare for the ACT, visit college campuses, and explore summer enrichment opportunities. The program will provide intensive ACT test preparation to help students increase their ACT scores at least 13%, conduct admissions counseling, provide financial aid consulting to help students meet their full demonstrated need, and provide guidance on the transition from high school to college.
Contact: Jim McCorkell (651) 917-3525

Achieving College Access Program, Minnesota State University, Mankato, receives $39,000

Sixty students in grades nine through 12 with emphasis on Hispanic/Latino Americans; African Americans including Sudanese, Anuak, and Somali; American Indians; and Asian Americans will participate in a 12-month tutoring program and a one-week summer residential pre-college academic institute. The anticipated outcome is that students will understand their academic strengths and weaknesses, be familiar with support services available on a college campus, and have the tools to be successful in college. Parents will understand the financial aid and admission processes as an outcome of program activities.
Contact: Charles Cantale (507) 389-6125 or (507) 389-5666

ACT/SAT Review Course for At-Risk Students, University of Minnesota, receives $18,000
Minneapolis/St. Paul

This program is designed to increase student knowledge in key content areas to better prepare them for successful college experiences. About 120 high school students will have large group instruction on the topics assessed on college admission tests: mathematics, reading, writing, data representation, English, vocabulary, and science reasoning. With a one-to-seven ratio, tutors will conduct small group sessions of each of the content areas. Informational sessions will be given on course-taking, test preparation, test anxiety and how to study. The non-cognitive aspects of applying to and attending college will be addressed through sessions on college admissions, financial aid, and physical and psychological health. In addition, students take a host of tests under standardized testing conditions that are scanned, scored, and returned with diagnostics information.
Contact: Dr. Ernest C. Davenport, Jr. (612) 624-1040

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