June 19, 2009

Countdown to College kicks off this weekend

Austin, TX – Seven leading educational initiatives have launched Central Texas’s first-ever collaborative college readiness workshop. This unprecedented event – designed to serve as a much-needed bridge for high school graduates between high school and college — will leverage the expertise of the E3 Alliance and The Blueprint for Educational Change, the University of Texas Institute for Public School Initiatives, and nonprofit organizations Breakthrough Austin, College Forward, Con Mi MADRE, Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, and Skillpoint Alliance to prepare over 250 at-risk students for success in college.
Countdown to College kicks off June 20 at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work, and will include a series of eight day-long workshops throughout June and July. Students will attend panel discussions on financial aid and academic success, and engage in group discussions, facilitated both by local experts and current college students, about topics including money management, study skills, and social life. Students are grouped into workshops according to the colleges they will be attending, giving them the opportunity to form peer networks and support systems in preparation for the transition to college.
Countdown to College will primarily assist low-income students, and students who would be the first in their family to graduate from college, in their pursuit of higher education. Planning and preparation has been coordinated by the E3 Alliance and The Blueprint for Educational Change, and the workshops are being hosted by Austin Community College’s Highland Business Center and the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work.
As an added incentive for parents, there will be a total of six $1,000 scholarship awards given to participating Countdown to College students. UT System has donated four awards to be raffled during the events on Saturday June 20th and 27th.  The winning students must be attending a college within the state of Texas and in attendance one of those two days.  In addition, Advance Micro Devices (AMD) and Applied Materials have each contributed a $1000 scholarship, available to any student who is registered and participates in the CTC program on any of the other dates.
When and Where:
June 20: UT School of Social Work, Room 2.112                        July 1: ACC Highland Business Center, Room 220
June 25: ACC Highland Business Center, Room 220                 July 2: ACC Highland Business Center, Room 301
June 26: ACC Highland Business Center, Room 220                 July 16: ACC Highland Business Center, Room 301
June 27: UT School of Social Work, Room 2.116                        July 17: ACC Highland Business Center, Room 301
The Blueprint for Educational ChangeTM – www.theblueprintforeducationalchange.org
The Blueprint for Educational ChangeTM is a first of its kind plan of action that addresses the regional education needs across the entire continuum, from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary and on to lifelong success. The Blueprint is the Central Texas community’s effort to build the most successful educational pipeline in the country and to ensure our competitiveness and quality of life as a region.
Breakthrough Austin – www.breakthroughaustin.org
Breakthrough provides a path to college, starting in middle school, for low-income students who will be first-generation college graduates. The program admits students as 6th graders and makes a six-year commitment to helping them graduate from high school and enter college.
College Forward – www.collegeforward.org
College Forward provides college preparatory services to motivated, economically-disadvantaged students, in order to facilitate their transition to college and make the process exciting and rewarding. We believe that access to higher education is the right of every young Texan.
Con Mi MADRE – www.conmimadre.org
Con Mi MADRE’s mission is to increase the representation of Hispanic women in higher education by supporting Hispanic girls who have the potential to succeed in college before they make educational and social choices that may jeopardize their futures.
E3 Alliance – www.e3alliance.org
The E3 Alliance is a regional collaborative to create a research-based “blueprint” that will allow us to align our education systems to better fulfill the potential of every citizen and in turn, increase economic outcomes for a stronger economic future for our region.  The E3 Alliance acts as a catalyst for change, and is the P-16 Council for the Central Texas region.
Hispanic Scholarship Consortium – www.hispanicscholar.org
Mission: Increase the enrollment of Central Texas Hispanic students in higher education by providing scholastic services and opportunities.
Skillpoint Alliance – www.skillpointalliance.org
Skillpoint Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that builds partnerships among industry, education and the community, leading to college and career success for Central Texans, while meeting employers’ needs for a qualified workforce.
University of Texas Institute for Public School Initiatives – www.utsystem.edu/ipsi/
The mission of the Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) is to improve the quality of academic outcomes for public education in Texas by building awareness and alignment between P-12 and higher education. IPSI’s P-16 initiatives include innovative approaches and tools for students, teachers, and administrators to improve student college readiness, access and success.