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Project Grad



CONCEPT:    Project GRAD Los Angeles (PGLA) is an innovative early college outreach program that works with K-12 teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders, and businesses to increase the number of students entering and succeeding in college.

GOALS:    To promote academic achievement for all students through early intervention, integration of services, comprehensive feeder pattern (K-16) planning, and increased access to college.


Project GRAD Los Angeles partners with K-16 schools, businesses, and community organizations to improve education in Los Angeles. Project GRAD Los Angeles serves 20,000 children in the northeastern San Fernando Valley.

Project GRAD Los Angeles has five main program components:

¨Consistency Management-A program which teaches students self-discipline and responsibility while building self-esteem.

¨Success For All-An early intervention reading and writing program that includes one-to-one tutoring, family support teams, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten instruction, and professional development for all teachers.

Move It Math-A new math curriculum that stresses early mastery of math through hands-on experiences.

Connections-A student support services program that includes educational mentoring, individual homework assistance, and parent engagement

College Scholarship and Preparation-Project GRAD Los Angeles provides college scholarships for all eligible 9th graders of up to $6,000.


    Project GRAD Los Angeles works with 15 LAUSD schools and has a total student population of over 20,000. More than 93.2 percent are Latino and 3.8 percent are African American. More than 60 percent of these students are Limited English Proficient, and more than 90.6 percent participate in free or reduced lunch programs. More than 42 percent of the teachers in Project GRAD Los Angeles schools are emergency credentialed.    


Project GRAD was founded by Jim Ketelsen, retired CEO of Tenneco Inc., in Houston, Texas in 1993. At the program's inception, only 20% of students in underserved communities of Houston were reading and performing math at grade level, according to a Texas state assessment.

With the aid of Project GRAD Houston, 72% of students are now testing at grade level in math and 74% are reading at grade level in grades K-6. Middle school students have similar increases, and at the high school, the graduation rate has quadrupled. The rate of teen pregnancy has also dropped by 50%.

WHERE:    In addition to Los Angeles, Project GRAD operates in Atlanta, Georgia, Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Texas, Knoxville, Tennessee and Newark, New Jersey

CONTACT:    Cheryl Mabey                Ashley De Lucca

Executive Director             Communications Director    

(818) 760-4695             (818) 760-4695 ext. 238