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SCVNews.com | Hart-COC Programs Improve Transition from High School to College | 09-14-2012
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1879 - Newhall civic leader Charles Henry Kingsburry born in Missouri [story]


The governing boards of the Hart High School District and College of the Canyons will meet side-by-side Sept. 19 for an update and discussion of three programs designed to improve college readiness and ease the transition from high school to COC.

First on the agenda is the First Year Experience (FYE) program, launched in 2010 by the local junior college. Initially available to first-time freshmen from the Hart District who place below transfer-level math or English, the program has been expanded to all first-time freshman, regardless of skill level.  The program offers students first-year classes, programs, and activities at COC to  develop skills to enhance their college success and build a foundation for lifelong learning.

Highlights include:

* Cougar Days, providing students a brief overview of the program, placement test preparation, financial aid, and information about special programs at the college;

* Orientation Days, providing students academic advisement, development of a student education plan, detailed information on My Canyons including registration and payments;

* Guaranteed enrollment in 12 units in their first semester at COC, including math and/or English, counseling, and general education and career technical education courses; and

* Access to FYE math or English classes in spring for students to complete their developmental math or English course sequence by the end of their first fall semester at COC.

“Students participating in the program have had considerable success,” according to a Hart board report. “Retention and success rates for FYE students are higher than other students at College of the Canyons.  Similarly, retention and success rates in English and math courses are higher for FYE students compared to other students at COC.”

Next up is the Upward Bound Program, a new offering to 60 participating students at Golden Valley High School.

Funded by the federal government, the $1.25 million program targets qualifying Golden Opportunities for Academic Learning and Success (GOALS) students, encouraging participants to complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education while providing academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign language.

Student support includes:

* College readiness workshops;

* Test-taking and study skills preparation;

* Weekly tutoring and mentoring from the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Center students;

* Financial aid workshops;

* Scholarship information;

* Career services;

* Exposure to field trips and guest lecturers from the surrounding Santa Clarita Valley community and industry partners;

* End-of-the-year celebrations.

Participants who enroll at COC will be encouraged to enroll in the MESA and FYE programs.

Finally, the boards will examine the Career Coach program, which started last spring with the hiring of four part-time COC employees who spend 20 hours per week working with high school students, staff and parents to help students plan for their post-high school career and education.

Goals include:

* Communicate substantive, current District and school information to all stakeholders;

* Create environment where everyone is treated with dignity; all students receive equal educational and extracurricular opportunities;

* Create career/technical education opportunities to increase students’ successful transition to the work force and workplace.

The joint board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the COC board room (HSLH-137).

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