A seat in college for high school grads

West Hills Community College District in California is ensuring high school seniors have a spot in college, reports the Campaign for College Opportunity. The district worked to reverse a 15 percent decline in enrollment of local high school graduates.

. . . West Hills worked directly with high school leaders to reach students early —  informing them of how to best prepare, enroll, and access financial aid.  New students were guided to complete an education plan stipulating their college goals, filled out the federal application for financial aid, received orientation and took the appropriate assessment tests for placement in critical math and English courses.

“In 2011-12, more than 20,000 community college course sections were cut across California – including basic skills, transfer-level English and math, career pathway courses, and ESL – yet Playing the Ukulele for Older Adults; Ceramics: An Option for Friday Night; and Reclaiming Joy: Meeting Your Inner Child,” were still available, said Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “California no longer has the resources to subsidize students attending community college for recreational purposes.”

Long Beach City College, Riverside Community College, San Bernardino Community College, Victor Valley College also are focusing limited resources on students pursuing a degree, transfer or a vocational certificate. All community colleges in California will prioritize enrollment for students with academic or vocational plans starting in 2014.

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