2017 GIA Innovation Awards Ceremony Is Major Success

On October 18, 2017, Growing Inland Achievement was pleased to honor the recipients for the 2017 Growing Inland Achievement Innovation Awards. Of the many applicants, three outstanding proposals were chosen to receive $150,000 to implement innovative programs to achieve degree attainment and economic success throughout the region.

Riverside County Office of Education/College and Career Readiness (CCR) Unit (http://www.rcoe.us/)

The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) has a long history of working collaboratively and supporting 23 districts through network activities. Through continuing this work, and with the development of the Riverside County Education Collaborative (RCEC), RCOE is uniquely positioned to build districts’ capacity to lead change at a local level, build awareness of pressing challenges, identify solutions, and to scale up innovative and effective practices to dramatically impact student achievement across our region and state.

As the lead entity, RCOE has made a strong commitment to this work by creating a College and Career Readiness (CCR) unit which consists of an Executive Director, a Director, and a Coordinator of counseling services. Additional support comes from eight Temporary Management Specialists who are experts at their site in addressing and improving state and national college and career indicators. This level of staffing confirms the commitment RCOE has to ensure all students are college and career ready as well as improve postsecondary enrollment and persistence in Riverside County.

The $150,000 award from GIA will be used over the course of two years to help build the capacity of the districts and expand the college and career readiness activities in the Riverside region.  This also aligns with GIA’s goals to increase college preparedness, particularly in math, as well as increase baccalaureate, associate, certificate, and credential attainment by 15% across San Bernardino and Riverside counties within five years.

“This innovation award will allow us to study the phenomena that has been elusive to us in K12 education, which is making a connection with our students to higher education. Being able to partner with the community colleges and universities in the region will give us the ability to study how our young men and women can transition from a K12 environment to a post-secondary environment and thrive, survive, and get complete. This award will allow us to better understand this phenomena in a much deeper and more successful way.”–Gil Compton, Riverside County Office of Education.

Chaffey College/The Regional InTech Learning Center (http://intechcenter.org/)

Chaffey College’s InTech Center is currently the largest and most responsive training center in the region where students can obtain the skills they need in today’s workforce environment.

The $150,000 award from Growing Inland Achievement will support the development of a model Conventional Machinist Training (CMT) program that is scalable, sustainable, and replicable.  This program will provide students with the fundamentals of machining and machine repair.  Upon program completion, students will have the needed skills set to find entry-mid level employment as an operator of a lathe, mill, grinder, drill press, etc. in the machining and tooling industry.

This aligns with GIA’s goal to improve career preparedness through a strengthened partnership with industry to better align education with workforce development needs.

“Chaffey College and the InTech Center is so excited about this award from Growing Inland Achievement because it will allow us to expand the successful programs that we are already delivering at the InTech Center and serve a broader audience of both students and employers. The Conventional Machinist Training Program will provide stackable, industry-recognized credentials to students in a lucrative career field in the machining and tooling industry of manufacturing. What makes our approach innovative is the focus we will place on recruiting women into this training program. Women who have already enrolled in some of our other non-traditional programs have gone on to do very well in their careers, and manufacturing employers are asking for more female applicants for their open positions. Additionally, this program will allow us to serve small- to medium-sized manufacturers who still use older, more traditional machines because they cannot afford newer technologies, or the nature of the product that they manufacture lends itself to the use of traditional machinery. After program graduation, students will enter their career field at a mid-level position with room for growth; as they promote within their companies, they can then come back to InTech to obtain more certifications, or they can enroll in credit programs at Chaffey College which will lead to either an associate’s or transfer to a bachelor’s program. Many individuals who enter employment in technical fields continue on in their post-secondary education to qualify for management positions and move up within their companies.” –Sandra Sisco, Director of Economic Development, Chaffey College.

California State University, San Bernardino/Quant Lab (https://www.csusb.edu/)

Need for remediation in math and English at the college-level is a costly and widespread problem in the United States. It has been estimated that nationally the cost of remedial education is over 1 billion dollars per year (Saxton & Boylan, 2001). This is a particular problem within California public colleges and universities. Students who require remediation at matriculation are far less likely to earn their degree. If they do remain enrolled, those students on average take longer to complete their degree than those without the need for remediation.

The Department of Mathematics and the Office of Undergraduate Studies at CSUSB was awarded $150,000 to develop and test a lab course, Quant Lab, that will provide co-requisite support to students needing remediation to succeed in General Education math courses. The new course will be piloted during the 2017-2018 academic year (AY) and within the Summer 2018 Coyote First STEP (CFS) summer program for underprepared first-year students.

This aligns with two GIA’s goals: (1) Increase college preparedness, particularly in math, resulting in 20% reduction in number of students requiring remediation at matriculation from high school to college within 5 years; and (2) to increase baccalaureate, associate, certificate, and credential attainment by 15% across San Bernardino and Riverside counties within five years.

“One of the challenges that we have is we accept students into college assuming they are college ready, and yet we put them through what we consider developmental coursework that is remedial and don’t lead to a degree. This is taking the most vulnerable students and add additional time, units, and costs. This model needs to flip and view it as an opportunity by being creative in the kinds of opportunities we provide these students, and math is one of those areas of opportunity. Math is a critical lynchpin for student success and degree attainment, but our approach to math instruction hasn’t changed since 1965. With the GIA Innovation Award we are moving away from a one size fits all approach into a curriculum full of options that are relevant, interesting, and important with a focus on job skills and functional applications of technology.” Craig Seal, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Susan Addington, professor of mathematics, California State University San Bernardino.


For more information on these awards, as well as future funding opportunities, please contact us directly at (909) 256-0011 or info@inlandempiregia.org.

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