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Carnegie And Hewlett Partner In Program To Strengthen
Pre-Collegiate Education

February 14, 2005

Merced College was chosen to partner with ten other California community colleges over the next three years to design more effective models for teaching mathematics and literacy at the pre-collegiate level. The new initiative is part of an ongoing collaboration between The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Merced College was selected by the Carnegie Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation because the college has already made promising strides toward more effective classroom approaches, and because they have made pre-collegiate education an institutional priority. The other campuses are:

  • Cerritos College
  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of the Desert
  • College of the Sequoias
  • Glendale Community College
  • Laney College
  • Los Medanos College
  • Pasadena City College
  • West Hills College, Coalinga

As part of the Hewlett/Carnegie initiative these campuses will build on and strengthen promising current innovations, documenting their work in ways that other campuses can build on.

“We want to develop classroom models and approaches that yield more lasting and less fragile learning than those that have already failed many students,” said Carnegie President Lee S. Shulman. “Community colleges have a rich history of providing access to higher education and are often the gateway to a four-year college degree. Yet, many students don’t advance beyond pre-collegiate work because they are inadequately prepared to succeed. This is an immense waste of precious potential, and Carnegie would like to help teachers develop ways to ensure that students are able to take advantage of the opportunities that community colleges provide.”

"This initiative reflects the Hewlett Foundation's ongoing commitment to California education reform, and especially acknowledges the role that our community colleges can play in providing a quality education for all our state's students," said Marshall (Mike) Smith, director of the Hewlett Foundation's Education Program.

Carnegie and participating campuses will design tools that promote powerful learning, develop a gallery of multimedia examples of effective teaching, and foster the development of campus cultures and networks that support improved student learning and success. These strategies have been developed in Carnegie’s ongoing work with campuses across the country and with faculty in a diverse set of fields. The funding from Hewlett will allow the Foundation to extend its work into the community college sector, where so many of the challenges facing higher education are present in high relief.

“At these and other California community colleges the vast majority—in many cases more than 90 percent—of entering students place into developmental courses,” said Rose Asera, who directs the Carnegie project. “We will work with faculty, students, and administrators to shape programs that are locally effective and provide models and tools that other community colleges can learn from and use.”

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