Students in Cal Poly College Prep Programs Advance to Higher Education at Rates Higher Than National Average

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Local high school students who participated in Cal Poly TRIO pre-college preparation programs advanced to institutions of higher learning at higher rates than those at TRIO programs nationally.

Following the 2018-19 academic year, 87% and 94% of Cal Poly TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS) and Upward Bound (UB)participants, respectively, advanced to four-year public and private universities, community colleges, and vocational or trade schools. Both Cal Poly programs outpaced national averages for all ETS (79.7%) and UB (85.6%) programs in postsecondary enrollment outcomes. 

In addition, all 2018-19 academic participants in Cal Poly’s programs graduated high school. 

“TRIO programs were created to support students who might otherwise never consider continuing their education beyond high school,” said Susie Sandstrom, director of Cal Poly TRIO Pre-College Programs. “Our goal is to empower students and, in turn, the families and communities that support them. We’re proud to play a role in helping these students achieve new heights academically.”

The programs, which are federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education, work directly with economically disadvantaged and potential first-generation college students. Cal Poly’s ETS and UB programs serve more than 600 students in sixth through 12th grades at Ernest Righetti, Pioneer Valley, Nipomo and Santa Maria high schools, and junior high/middle schools in the Guadalupe, Arroyo Grande, and Santa Maria areas.

“What I hear constantly from students is: ‘I want a better life. When my life is better, I want to pull my parents into that life,’” said Joe Domingues, former principal at Santa Maria High School. “One way of doing that is through education, so having a program like Upward Bound is phenomenal.”

About Cal Poly Upward Bound
Upward Bound provides academic advising, college preparation workshops, and more to local students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program works with several high schools to increase the rate of participants who complete their secondary education and enroll in institutions of higher learning.

About Cal Poly Educational Talent Search
Educational Talent Search supports local sixth- through 12th-grade students in advancing through junior high and high school and pursuing higher education at the community college, vocational school, or four-year university level. The program accomplishes this by offering advising, college field trips, and afterschool workshops on SAT/ACT preparation, completing college applications, and applying for financial aid, among other topics.

Contact: Diego Abeloos

December 16, 2019

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