JCC receives College Access Challenge Grant

JAMESTOWN – Students attending five area high schools will have access to special career and college preparation opportunities during the 2013-2014 academic year through a $198,995 College Access Challenge Grant recently awarded to Jamestown Community College. This is the second consecutive year JCC has received a CACG grant.

Partnering with JCC on initiatives funded by the grant are Brocton Central School, Dunkirk High School, Jamestown High School, Pine Valley Central School and Salamanca Central School. Students attending the Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center in Jamestown will also be able to access CACG program services.

JCC’s grant is funded through a $2.75 million CACG award received by New York state from the U.S. Department of Education. New York’s CACG program is administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the state’s student financial aid agency.

According to Lori Svenson, who will direct the yearlong program for JCC, CACG is designed to increase the number of low income, minority, and underserved students who are prepared to apply for, get accepted to and succeed in college.

“The opportunities presented to these schools will have a positive impact for their students, their families, and the community,” Svenson said. “Programming for the 2013-2014 school year will help families realize the potential of a college education and receive the support needed to make it a reality.”

Activities funded by the CACG grant include:

Academic mentoring throughout the school year in conjunction with Chautauqua Striders;

Summer 2014 Residential College Access Academy, focusing on college awareness and leadership for students in grades 9 and 10;

Summer 2014 Residential College Access Academy and SAT/ACT Boot Camp providing students completing grade 11 with daily prep courses for the SAT and/or ACT exams;

Scholarships for seniors to take college courses through JCC’s Pre-College Enrollment program; and

Opportunities to shadow college students at JCC’s Jamestown, Olean, or Dunkirk locations.

Many CACG program components are designed to have a strong impact on broader groups of students. These include:

Visits to regional two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities for students at each grade level;

High School 101 workshops for students and families, covering topics on transitioning from middle to high school, graduation requirements, concurrent enrollment opportunities, college searches, and career pathways;

College 101 workshops for juniors and their families, focusing on the college selection process, career exploration, and financial aid;

Career events at JCC;

FAFSA, financial literacy, and financial aid workshops for students and parents;

Precollege testing preparation for PSAT, SAT, and ACT exams; and

Concurrent enrollment classes at JCC, giving students the opportunity to enrich their high school curricula while earning college credits.

CACG funds will also support professional development activities for guidance counselors and high school faculty teaching in JCC’s College Connections concurrent enrollment program.

Families within the partner school districts seeking more information about CACG programs and services should contact their high school principals or Svenson at 338-1101 or 800-388-8557, ext. 1101.

HESC is New York state’s student financial aid agency that helps people pay for college and a national leader in providing need-based grant and scholarship award money to college-going students. At HESC’s core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program, numerous state scholarships, federal college access grants and the College Savings program.

HESC puts college within the reach of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year through programs like these and through the guidance it provides to students, families, and counselors. In 2011-2012, HESC helped more than 424,000 students achieve their college dreams by providing more than $971.5 million in grants, scholarships, and loan forgiveness benefits, including $920.1 million awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program.

CACG funding is awarded each year to regional organizations and statewide partners. This year’s programs will take place in 13 counties across New York state and provide crucial college preparatory, enrollment, and completion services directly to students, including academic support, mentoring and college financial aid awareness.

Detailed information about CACG, including the College Tour Initiative and recipients of CACG sub-grant awards and their projects, is available at www.HESC.ny.gov/CACG.