Despite 20 years of education reform, only about one-third of U.S. students are proficient in reading and math, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In CSUSM's service region, 45 percent of kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) students come from low-income households and 60 percent are at-risk of becoming high school dropouts. Recognizing that today's elementary, middle and high school students are tomorrow's leaders, Cal State San Marcos is a committed community partner, working with education and civic organizations to close achievement gaps and improve student learning.

Initial data already shows that CSUSM's nine guaranteed admission partnerships (GAP) are effective. Students participating in the programs have higher high school grade point averages and standardized test scores. Once GAP students arrive at CSUSM as freshmen, their grades are better than their peers and their risk of dropping out after the first year is significantly lower. However, there is much more work to be done. To that end, the Price Family Charitable Foundation has just announced that it will award a $555,000 three-year grant to CSUSM to address core, foundational goals of our guaranteed admission programs with area school districts via a new project called The Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education.

The Alliance will help CSUSM and district partners more effectively and efficiently execute the University's guaranteed admission programs by building the implementation infrastructure, strengthening the relationships between the campus and districts, launching Alliance programs and activities, building capacity through marketing and communications, and by leveraging resources.

"Ultimately, these funds will position CSUSM to seek additional external funding that will help the University and districts meet the larger goal of increasing the number of college-ready students entering CSUSM through our district partnerships as we gradually continue to roll out all proposed components of The Alliance in their entirety," said Vice President for Community Engagement Jan Jackson. "A work plan for this early phase of The Alliance will be completed during the remainder of the spring semester, in time for a July 1 launch of core activities."

For more information on The Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education, contact Community Engagement at 760-750-8719.

The Alliance will help CSUSM and district partners more effectively and efficiently execute the University's guaranteed admission programs by building the implementation infrastructure, strengthening the relationships between the campus and districts, launching Alliance programs and activities, building capacity through marketing and communications, and by leveraging resources.