May 3, 1999 Vol. III, No. 15

CSUN College Readiness Program Receives $50,000 Grant

Funding From Edison International Will Help
Expand Program for At-Risk High School Students

Cal State Northridge's innovative Jump Start program, which promotes college as a reachable goal for at-risk high school students, has received a $50,000 grant from Edison International to expand its efforts.

CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson and campus officials accepted the funding for Jump Start from a delegation of Edison International representatives during a presentation Tuesday, April 27, in the president's office.

"We are thrilled and overjoyed to receive the support of Edison International in building a community collaboration between the business world and the university system to increase college awareness among high school students," said Doris Johnson, one of CSUN's co-coordinators of the program.

Operated through CSUN's College of Business Administration and Economics, Jump Start currently works at two public high schools in the region-Crenshaw and Westchester-to interest those students in college and prepare them for entry into college life.

With the Edison funding, CSUN plans to expand Jump Start to a San Fernando Valley-area high school in fall 1999, and thus increase student participation in the program from about 70 at present to about 100. The funding also will aid planning for possible expansion to a middle school site.

Johnson said the Jump Start program includes weekly lunch- hour sessions at the high schools, where students who have volunteered for the program receive presentations on topics such as study skills, the college admissions process and career exploration.

Other program components typically include the high school students spending a day at Cal State Northridge to get a taste of university life, field trips to various business sites and mentoring opportunities, said Johnson, who is director of CSUN's Business Student Equity Center.

Although run through CSUN's business college, the Jump Start program is open to and geared to high school students regardless of their likely college major or career path. The program began in 1995 and receives private support from several major corporations.

CSUN is one of six postsecondary institutions in Southern California to receive $50,000 grants this year under Edison's New Era Award for Excellence in Higher Education program. The Edison awards, judged by an independent panel of business and education leaders, are given annually for projects that encourage innovative approaches to preparing at-risk students for higher education.

May 3, 1999

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