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Sierra College, Los Rios College District and Sacramento State, Receive Basic Skills Pilot Program

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Sierra College has received a two-year, $2 million state grant to expand its highly successful partnership among regional high schools, community colleges and Sacramento State to ensure more students successfully transition to college and complete degrees and certificates in a timely manner.

The four community colleges in the Los Rios District – American River, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City – will join Sierra as part of the regional Basic Skills Pilot Partnership grant. Together, they will work alongside Sacramento State and the Sacramento County and Placer County offices of education to significantly reduce the number of high school students requiring further remediation after high school graduation.

The competitive grant, awarded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, is largely in response to the ongoing statewide need to improve college readiness. The expanded partnership will address this challenge with an added emphasis on mathematics, an area of concern for the region.  At Sacramento State, for example, an average of 55 percent of incoming freshmen must take remedial math courses.

“We are very excited to be able to expand the program to our regional partners,” said Sierra College President Willy Duncan. “Seventy percent of our incoming students require further remediation in math. Our senior math course for college-bound high school students has proven to be highly successful at reducing this number. This program will mean that students can reduce both the time and cost to complete their degree."

Los Rios Chancellor Brian King said his District is excited about the opportunity to join a regional consortium committed to student success: “This is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate, innovate and then motivate our students to progress more quickly along pathways to academic and professional achievement.”

“We are very excited to partner with Sierra College and the Los Rios Community College District to improve the math skills of students in Placer County and the Sacramento region, and to reduce the number of students who have to take remedial classes before they can take classes for credit,” said Sacramento State President, Robert S. Nelsen.

In all, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors awarded $10 million in grant funding for the Basic Skills Pilot Partnership grant. Five community college and CSU partnerships across the state will receive a portion of the funds. By fall 2018, the Sacramento regional partnership expects to serve upwards of 6,000 students a year.

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