The new website helps to connect Inland Empire students with college advising and other critical resources, including technology and basic needs support.

Growing Inland Achievement, a regional collective impact organization seeking to increase Inland educational attainment rates, recently launched IEStudents.org, a website to support high school students as they transition to college amid the coronavirus pandemic. The website provides access to college advisors and current information on the changes in college admissions, testing, and financial aid.

The idea for a regional support website stemmed from a post-secondary education task force comprised of educational leaders across the region, who have united to develop support mechanisms for students amid the crisis. GIA staff and students supported the website build with guidance from the task force and other partners across the region.

“With the help of our partners, GIA launched IEStudents.org based on the vision of connecting high school students with critical information and college advising support to ensure the pandemic does not inhibit any student’s journey to college, especially those more likely to fall through the cracks. The college success advisors page helps to match students with a college success advisor to assist with their individual needs,” said GIA Director of Operations & Partnerships, Ida Hermosillo.

GIA student interns played a crucial role in developing the website and curating the site content. “The website is easy to navigate and very helpful for students,” said GIA Intern, Ian Sherman. “I’m very proud that I have played a key role in building and maintaining this website to help students like me here in the Inland Empire to pursue their dreams of going to college.”

Partners in the Inland Empire Educational Network offered insight on the educational challenges presented by the pandemic. Feedback from the network highlighted critical student needs and helped to drive the website architecture and page content. Each section of the website contains pages with relevant and timely updates for students, such as updates regarding financial aid administration, emergency funds, food resources, technology, and virtual learning support, among other student success resources.

“I’m grateful for the many Inland Empire colleges and organizations that came together to work collectively and remove barriers for high school students making a transition to college during this difficult time,” said President & CEO of GIA, Dr. Carlos Ayala. “I’m also extremely proud of our GIA staff and interns who stepped up to develop this outstanding website resource for students in our region.”

Growing Inland Achievement is a bi-county,  educational collaborative in the Inland Empire that brings together leaders across K-20 education, civic, and business sectors. GIA organizes and collaborates with the Inland Empire Educational Network to create innovative practices that achieve large-scale social and institutional change. Visit GIA’s website at inlandempiregia.org to learn more.