Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Strengthening Seattle Partnerships for College Access and Success

College Access and Readiness has recently become a significant component of the Alliance for Education's program offerings. Since the spring of 2009, we have been convening a network of SPS staff, and college access providers and representatives which we refer to as the Seattle College Access Network (SCAN). This network is committed to ensuring expanded, and more efficient, delivery of college-preparation programs for students in our target populations including first generation college-goers, low-income and students of color. Participants of this network include and not limited to:
  • Seattle Public School System
  • Local Education Fund - Alliance for Education
  • The Funding community - Collegespark, Gates Foundation, College Success Foundation
  • Higher ed institutions - University of Washington, Seattle Community College Districts, Seattle Pacific
  • Policy and Advocacy groups - Seattle Education Access, League of Education Voters, and El Centro de la Raza
We recognize the vastly different opportunities and resources available to students across the city and our network commits to targeting this population that has not been well served in getting the resources they need to obtain postsecondary education opportunities. We define all college access to include trade school, technical college, two- and four-year colleges, and other educational choices.

This past year, the network primarily focused on building sustainable relationships within the network and beginning to build a structure within SPS high schools and middle schools that have the highest population of low-income and students of color.

Our four key areas of work include:
  • Building capacity with SPS
  • Identify and engage community partners
  • Build a sustainable structure including metrics for collaboration between schools, community organizations, and families in supporting all students for college access and success
  • Push areas of policy that have an impact on the success of this effort

Since the network began, all providers have been energetic, enthusiastic, and committed to the network mission. It is apparent that we are resource rich around the issue of college access and readiness. Coordinating our efforts in a way where we can eliminate inefficiencies and work in concert will be the task ahead.

We welcome your thoughts and participation!!

Mark Yango, AFE

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