University of San Diego Receives Grant to Prepare Disadvantaged Youths for College

The University of San Diego Center for Community Service-Learning has been awarded a $120,000, three-year grant to help prepare more lower-income and disadvantaged youth for college.

USD is acting as a lead for a coalition including Mesa College, San Diego City College, and the University of California, San Diego, demonstrating higher education’s deep commitment to the youth and communities of the San Diego region.

The grant is part of an award totaling $3 million from Learn and Serve America, a division of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service through California Campus Compact.  

College students will work with youth from Linda Vista in joint service projects including art murals, a garden project, and a school clean-up for the Martin Luther King Day of Service.  This project is part of the work of the Linda Vista Youth Collaborative that is providing services to support youth and their families in job readiness and college preparedness.  Members of this coalition include Bayside Community Center, Kearny High Educational Complex, the Linda Vista Teen Center (Boys and Girls Club), Montgomery Academy, San Diego County North Central Health and Human Services Dept., North Central Public Health Department, San Diego Family Care and SAY San Diego.

“USD is embarking on this program because we are deeply concerned about California’s large percentage of young people who are not on the college track,” said USD President Mary Lyons.  “At USD we believe strongly that college attendance will endow students with skills and knowledge that will contribute to their own intellectual growth and, eventually, to California’s economic viability. But first, we must help get those students to college.”   

By 2015, as much as 40 percent of the total national increase in college-age youths (18 to 24) will occur in California.  Yet there is great disparity in the profile of California students who actually go to college.  Currently, for example, fewer than one-third of Hispanic eighteen year-olds who graduate from high school will go to college.  Only 10 percent of Hispanic high school graduates will earn a bachelor’s degree.   

California Campus Compact (CACC) is a membership organization of college and university presidents leading California institutions of higher education in building a statewide collaboration to promote service as a critical component of higher education. Currently, there are 55 CACC member institutions.   In San Diego five of these member campuses, USD, UCSD, San Diego State University; California State University, San Marcos; and Mira Costa College, recently were recognized on the “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for General Community Service.” 

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls some 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies will bring the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of  Business Administration, Education, Law and Nursing and Health Sciences.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Pamela Gray Payton
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