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24 Grants Awarded to Improve College Attendance and Retention




Nancy Walters
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3907

Twenty-four Minnesota programs will receive a total of $696,000 in matching grants to focus on increasing high school graduation, college participation and success rates. The competitive grant program supports Minnesota educational institutions and nonprofit organizations that help students in sixth through 12th grade and in college increase their chances for participation and success in higher education. With a focus on enhancing academic preparation, selected projects provide rigorous coursework, high expectations for individual success and exposure to higher education environments to prepare participants for success in college.

"These locally-based programs build connections with students that can change lives," said Susan Heegaard, Director for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "We are delighted that we were able to increase funding for the grants this year."

The grant funds were made available under the Minnesota Higher Education Omnibus Bill of 2007. Funding for the Intervention for College Attendance Program (ICAP) was increased this biennium by Governor Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota Legislature. Student participants must meet eligibility criteria based on family income levels or membership in groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

The grants are awarded to organizations that demonstrate an effective plan to address key factors that support college access and success. These factors include raising aspirations for college, improving academic preparation for college, easing the initial transition to college and providing more support for students once in college. Each grant brings its own customized approach to the unique group of students it serves.

These programs provide students with early and continued interventions through college to ensure that relevant information and personal support are available as they pursue their goal of obtaining a college degree. Project outcomes are evaluated to determine the level of success, and best practices are highlighted for replication at other sites in the state.

2007 Grant Recipients
Intervention for College Attendance Program

Seeds of Change: Concordia University's and St. Paul Central High School's Arts Literacy and College Preparation Partnership for African American Males, receives $27,596
St. Paul

Twenty African American male students from St. Paul Central High School will participate in mentoring, academic support, emotional and social skills development sessions and postsecondary preparation workshops to support their high school graduation and transition to college. As members of an arts literacy group, the participants will be engaged in theater improvisation, writing activities, storytelling and creation of original theater pieces as they engage in skill development.
Contact: Dr. Cheryl Chatman, (651) 603-6151,

An ACT/SAT Course for At-Risk Students, University of Minnesota, receives $23,899
Minneapolis/St. Paul

This program is designed to increase student knowledge in key content areas to better prepare them for successful college experiences. About 150 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 diagnostic information.
Contact: Dr. Ernest C. Davenport, Jr., (612) 624-1040,

Jump Start, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, receives $34,000

One hundred students from Olson Middle School in Minneapolis will participate in weekly activities focusing on math improvement and success on the MCA math test. A three-week summer program will be offered on campus to improve language arts, math and computer skills and will expose participants to a college environment. Project staff will contact parents at least four times a year and encourage their involvement in program activities. In coordination with school staff, 100 percent of the participants will be assessed for academic, personal, career, cultural and financial need.
Contact: Katherine Davis, (612) 659-6568,

Achieve! Career and College Initiative, receives $38,000

The North High School program will work with licensed school counselors, the Achieve! Work-Based Learning Coordinator, teachers and community organization staff. Students will complete grade-appropriate milestones on the Minneapolis Public Schools My Life Plan so that they have a comprehensive plan identifying personal interests and talents, broad career goals, higher education/training that will prepare them for those career interests, high school coursework needed to prepare for that higher education/training and opportunities for paying for college.
Contact: Susan Doherty, (612) 455-1554,

Mankato Achieving College Access Program, Minnesota State University, Mankato, receives $36,000

Sixty students in ninth through 12th grade will participate in academic year tutoring, reading development, campus visits and a one-week pre-college summer institute. A parent group will be involved through monthly meetings and encouraged to support their students' academic pursuits. An after-school academic assistance program will be maintained and utilize graduate students trained to teach in the English as a Secondary Language Program to assist in the students' academic language development.
Contact: Dr. Michael T. Fagin, (507) 389-1150,

Quantum Opportunities Program, Summit Academy OIC, receives $32,000

An intensive year-round program will work with 170 students in sixth through 12th grade from Minneapolis North Community School to increase school attendance and grade point averages. This will be accomplished through academic and personal support, career exploration, leadership development, social and community service activities, parental involvement and a strong partnership with the school. The students are given help with college entrance exams, applications and campus visits. Students create Individualized Learning Plans with clearly defined goals to fulfill in order to achieve success in the program. The curriculum is mapped by scope and sequence to the state's academic standards.
Contact: Mary Fitzpatrick, (612) 986-4172,

DREAM, The College of St. Scholastica, receives $34,000

One hundred twenty-five low-income, first-generation high school students will participate in weekly academic-year tutoring to address study habits and grade improvement. A five-week summer academic enrichment program will be held for at least 90 students to increase skills in core subject areas and grade point averages. High school credit will be awarded for successful participation. Approximately 12 high school students will participate in career exploration and a five-week job placement period. All students will complete the Career Development Program, the FAFSA and apply for at least one outside scholarship.
Contact: Amy Galarowicz, (218) 723-6760,

Maadaadizi (Start a Journey) Program, University of Minnesota, receives $36,555
Minneapolis/St. Paul

Sixty American Indian students from Johnson and Highland Senior High Schools in St. Paul will participate in career and college planning sessions with Indian Education licensed school counselors and University of Minnesota staff, field trips to college fairs and college visits, individual assistance in ACT preparation, high school course selection, PSEO application and college and financial aid application and tutoring/mentoring sessions with college students. Students' grades will be monitored regularly, and parents will receive information on high school advanced courses, PSEO eligibility and student grades from Indian Education licensed school counselors. A college information session will be held for parents.
Contact: Rickey Hall, (612) 624-0594,

Girls Getting Ahead Leadership (GGAL) Program, Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), Inc., receives $32,000
St. Paul

Thirty junior and senior high women from African, Asian and Latino countries will participate in seminars to provide information on college planning, financing, academic preparation, accessing community and educational resources, career options and career explorations. In addition, there will be group activities to strengthen relationships and advocacy, increase the involvement of parents, increase networking opportunities with professional women and provision of support services for individual assistance to assure success in preparing for internships, mentorships and college.
Contact: Dr. Wilhelmina V. Holder, (651) 646-3268,

MnTRIO Day and College Fair, Minnesota TRIO Association, receives $6,000

Four hundred low-income, first-generation participants in Minnesota's pre-collegiate TRIO programs (Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and GEAR UP) will attend a one-day annual statewide TRIO student development conference and college fair at St. Olaf College.
Contact: Daniel Jackson, (507) 786-3782,

Promoting Academic Success for Underrepresented Students, St. Cloud State University, receives $36,000
St. Cloud

Sixty seventh through 12th grade African-American students in the St. Cloud School District with 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. The focus of activities will be to improve the group's success on state standardized tests in the areas of reading and mathematics, improve the grades and graduation rate of participants and increase the number of students attending postsecondary institutions. In addition, attendance at summer residential programs will be used to achieve the objectives of the program.
Contact: Dr. Robert C. Johnson, (320) 308-4928,

Dakota County Technical College Upward Bound, receives $25,000

Fifty ninth through 12th grade students from Henry Sibley and South Saint Paul High School who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education and who will be the first generation in their family to attend college will participate in the college's Upward Bound program. A professional/career mentoring program will be established to complement Upward Bound activities. In addition, the mentoring program coordinator will advise students on ACT preparation, advise students on MCA II graduation preparation and assist in organizing the Upward Bound summer bridge component.
Contact: Joy Kluttz, (651) 423-8463,

Transition Connections, Learning Disabilities Association, receives $8,000

The Transition Specialist will work with approximately 20 students at Nawayee Center School for 10 hours per week during the academic year, spending a portion of three days per week providing one-to-one and small group instruction to deliver information about college attendance, personal finance, self-advocacy and other critical college preparation techniques. Program content will be provided in the context of tutoring in reading to support academic success.
Contact: Dr. Miriam Kragness, (952) 922-8374, ext. 3717,

Admission Possible Program Expansion, receives $24,000
St. Paul

With program support, Admission Possible will be able to add 105 low-income students from St. Louis Park High School to its program services. Admission Possible identifies students who have the potential to succeed in college but are not likely to obtain admission to a four-year college. During their junior year, students will learn about the college application process, prepare for the ACT, visit college campuses and explore summer enrichment opportunities. During their senior year students will focus on completing college and scholarship applications, financial aid assistance and receive advising on the transition from high school to college. Students meet twice a week for two years, totaling 320 hours on time-on-task.
Contact: Jim McCorkell, (651) 917-3525,

The Power of YOU, Metropolitan State University, receives $35,855
St. Paul

The Power of YOU is designed to promote improved educational preparation of St. Paul and Minneapolis high school graduates and increase their postsecondary participation and retention. ICAP funds will be used for student support services for its first cohort of Power of YOU students. These services will include specialized orientation and supplemental instruction and tutoring/mentoring and intensive, intrusive advising support.
Contact: Ray McCoy, (651) 793-1522,

Breakthrough Saint Paul, Mounds Park Academy, receives $30,000
St. Paul

As a six-year college access program in collaboration with Saint Paul Public Schools, 164 highly-motivated, seventh through 10th grade students will participate in academic and summer programming that supports them on the path to college. During seventh and eighth grade, the program provides an extra 80 days of challenging academic enrichment. After completion of the junior high program, students are offered ongoing support in high school as they pursue success in rigorous honors coursework.
Contact: Jeff Ochs, (651)748-5504,

Academic Advancement Academy, St. Cloud Technical College, receives $20,000
St. Cloud

The funded project will academically prepare 60 underrepresented seventh and eighth grade students for testing, college entrance and college-level work with English and math classes. Volunteers from the community will serve as mentors and role models and provide career advising in a workshop setting. Financial aid advising will be provided for students and parents.
Contact: Greg Reigstad, (320) 308-0977,

From the Ground Up: An ICAP Collaborative for Fostering Postsecondary Science Majors, Carleton College, receives $21,000

The project will serve at least 200 students with a special emphasis on service to Latino girls in the Cannon River Valley area. Science interest cohorts will be developed through student visits with scientists at work and on campus, involvement in science research and participation in team science activities. Projects conducted during the year will culminate in two-week programs, one for middle school students and one for high school students, using resources at Maltby Nature Preserve. The delivery methods ensure that students have the opportunity to project themselves as successful learners in a college.
Contact: Dr. Mary Savina, (507) 646-4404,

Project Scholar, Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative District 930, receives $40,950

One hundred Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative's 11th and 12th grade students who meet ICAP eligibility requirements will receive a comprehensive academic and personal intake assessment, work with a case manager to receive postsecondary and career planning information and facilitated communication with parents and/or support person and use a continuous learning plan to assist them in passing core academic courses necessary for graduation and enrollment in postsecondary institutions. A counselor will provide individual meetings with students on career counseling, college selection and application process, arranging for ACT, SAT and/or Accuplacer testing, setting up college visits and providing financial aid and Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). Professional development for case mangers and the counselor will be provided.
Contact: Jeff Theis, (952) 368-8875,

Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes (TORCH), Northfield Public Schools, receives $39,000

One hundred thirty Northfield youth in grades six through 12 who are Latino, English Language Learners, low-income and/or potential first-generation college students will participate in a comprehensive approach to increasing high school graduation and postsecondary participation rates. TORCH will include: individual academic counseling, one-on-one mentoring and tutoring, after school homework assistance, individual admissions and financial aid counseling, college orientation trips, monthly career and college workshops, career exploration opportunities and summer enrichment opportunities, help with identifying and applying to colleges and assistance with scholarship identification and applications. In addition, school connectedness/family events will be held, along with in-service training for school staff on issues facing Latino and low-income students.
Contact: Marnie Thompson, (507) 645-3450,

Transitioning & Retaining Underserved Students Through the Power of YOU, Saint Paul College, receives $26,145
St. Paul

ICAP funds will support transition and retention efforts for "The Power of YOU", an initiative providing two years of college tuition for underserved high school graduates in good academic standing. Grant funds will support peer tutoring, parent and student workshops for financial aid assistance, and field trips to increase awareness of career opportunities and the possibilities for four-year college education. In addition, students will take Enable Math, an innovative web-based course.
Contact: Dr. Margie L. Tomsic, (651) 846-1316,

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

The Upward Bound program for 50 Duluth area ninth through 12th graders will be expanded and enhanced by ICAP funding. Funding will provide transportation, meals and lodging for a spring 2008 career field trip to Minneapolis; stipends for students participating in summer internships/ career mentoring; a minimum of one hour of small group/individual tutoring for all participants during the academic year; and a six-week summer program of enrichment courses to help students stay focused on school and to help them adjust to the curriculum of the coming year.
Contact: R. Jeannette Turchi, (218) 733-5931,

Bemidji State University Upward Bound/Intervention for College Attendance Project, receives $40,000

The Upward Bound program serves 90 students from Beltrami, Clearwater, Cass, Mahnomen and Hubbard counties. With ICAP funds, college visits, a key program component, will be expanded to include freshmen and sophomores. Through this early connection to admission counselors, students will hear another voice on needed efforts at the beginning of high school to prepare for college. In addition, the ICAP grant will support a six-week summer residential program for approximately 70 participants. This program will simulate a college-going experience for participants and develop the skills and motivation participants need to succeed in secondary education and beyond.
Contact: Valerie Wallingford, (218) 755-2594,

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

The four components of Project Ely - Homework Club, Study Club, experiential learning activities and relationship building with youth from other cultures will be offered to 35 Ely School District youth in sixth through 12th grade. Homework Club is a tutoring and homework help for teacher- and parent-referred sixth graders that meets four days a week during the school year. The Study Club is a homework help and group study time for seventh through 12th grade youth that meets two days a week. Participants work with staff to develop an individual plan for improving academic performance. Experiential learning activities are developed and led by faculty, staff and students of Vermilion Community College. Participants and project staff plan opportunities to develop relationships with youth from other cultures through events such as a pen pal program and cultural exchange visits.
Contact: Patricia J. Zupancich, (218) 365-5254,

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