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News Update

State announces recipients of $108.6 million in grants to streamline transition from school to college and career

The Governor’s Office today announced the six recipients of regional grants aimed at streamlining the transitions between the K-12 education system, higher education and career.

“We’re creating new regional pipelines – K-12 schools to higher education to the workforce – for California’s students that will prepare our kids for the jobs of the future in their communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom  in a statement. “This essential collaboration will help bridge equity gaps and provide more resources to help our students achieve their career goals right in their own communities.”

Each recipient of the Regional K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program will receive $18.1 million. Each award has been granted to collaboratives that include K-12 school districts, community colleges, CSUs or UCs and industry partners.

The six regions in California that will be receiving a total of $108.6 million include the Central San Joaquin Valley, North State, Kern County, Redwood Coast, Orange County and Sacramento. More information about each of the collaboratives awarded funding in the first round can be viewed on the Regional K-16 Education site.

Collaboratives must commit to creating at least two occupational pathways in health care, education, business management and engineering or computing.

They also must commit to a set of recommendations aimed at promoting equity and inclusion, which include improving college affordability, supporting early college credit, improving diversity among educators, subsidizing internet access, student retention and inclusive supports.

There’s significant overlap between the goals of awardees but each one has unique features, depending on the region’s needs.

The Redwood Coast K16 Education Collaborative, led by Cal Poly Humboldt, has a special focus on improving the college-going culture, especially for Native American and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. The Sacramento K16 Collaborative, led by the Los Rios Community College District, is investing in a regional data sharing system to support its efforts. Kern Regional K16 Education Collaborative, led by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, is focused on dismantling economic inequity in the region.

Fresno was the site of the signature initiative promoted by the Governor’s Council on Postsecondary Education. Now the Central San Joaquin Valley K16 partnership includes Madera County, as well as the work being done by the Tulare-Kings College + Career Collaborative.

The collaborations are getting larger and larger, said Karri Hammerstrom, the executive director of the Fresno-Madera Collaborative.

The work of the Fresno-Madera Collaborative has been blurring the lines between high school and college. It is focused on putting students on the pathway to jobs in engineering, accounting and financial management and single-subject teaching.

Dual enrollment has been a “cornerstone” of the collaborative’s work, said Hammerstrom. To enable a broader rollout, the region is supporting high school teachers who are interested in teaching college-level courses by helping them obtain a master’s degree and also offering them mentoring from community college professors. It is also creating a virtual dual enrollment hub for those students who may not currently have the option to take courses at their schools.

Hammerstrom is hopeful that this grant will help expand the work throughout the four counties, improve collaboration with parent and community groups and also encourage more school districts to expand opportunities for students in dual enrollment and career technical education.