November 3, 2000

SDSU Receives $600,000 Grant to Tutor El Centro Students

San Diego State University (SDSU) Foundation announced the receipt of a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education to tutor middle school students from the El Centro School District in literacy and build student awareness of college opportunities. The three-year program began in October 2000.

The SDSU Pre-College Institute, which coordinates the SDSU Upward Bound and Talent Search programs, will partner with the El Centro School District, the SDSU Imperial Valley campus and the Imperial Valley College (IVC) Upward Bound program to bring the best practices of these federally-funded programs to 200 middle school children, as well as faculty.

Fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students at Desert Garden Elementary, Kennedy Middle School, and Wilson Junior High School in Imperial County will participate in the program. The program will also provide pre-college dissemination of university and financial aid information to students and families who are traditionally underrepresented at post-secondary institutions.

In addition, the program will train 40 middle school faculty and principals through Service Learning courses offered at SDSU Imperial Valley and IVC. Sixty college students will also be trained to act as literacy tutors.

Dr. Khosrow Fatemi, dean of SDSU Imperial Valley serves as principal investigator of the program. Dr. Cynthia Park, executive director of the SDSU Pre-College Institute, Rosa Moreno, assistant dean of SDSU Imperial Valley, and Rosalie Lopez, director of Upward Bound at IVC, serve as co-directors.

Imperial Valley County has the highest percentage of Latino students in California. More than 55 percent of all students in the county are classified as below the federal poverty level. SDSU Imperial Valley is located in Calexico, a city of 30,000 located directly across the U.S.-Mexico border, and reflects an 80 percent Latino student population.

SDSU Foundation will administer the program on behalf of SDSU and IVC. Established in 1943, SDSU Foundation is a self-financed, non-profit, auxiliary organization chartered to further the educational, research and community service objectives of SDSU.

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