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September 21, 1998

Scholarship is new element of outreach initiative

By Terry Lightfoot
UC Office of the President

The University of California, under a new scholarship program announced last week, will provide additional incentive for disadvantaged students to excel academically at UC "partnership schools."

The Partnership Opportunity Scholarship Program will grant annual scholarships of $5,000 to disadvantaged students who excel academically at a UC partnership school and enroll at the partner UC campus.

The scholarship program and school partnership programs are part of the university's long-range strategy to implement recommendations of the UC Outreach Task Force, which consisted of Regents, UC faculty, staff and students, business leaders, and representatives of the state's major education sectors.

The strategic plan resulting from the task force's recommendations was outlined to the Regents last week by UCSC chancellor emeritus Karl S. Pister, currently senior associate to President Atkinson.

The plan establishes guidelines for meeting the university's outreach goals and establishes a framework for allocation of $38.5 million in new funds included in the 1998-99 state budget. Coupled with a potential $31 million in new K-12 matching money, spending on UC outreach programs is anticipated to reach approximately $135 million in 1998-99, more than double the amount spent in the previous fiscal year.

Under the strategic plan, the university is establishing partnerships with 50 state high schools that are educationally disadvantaged because of limited availability of college preparatory courses or low college-going rates among their graduates. Establishment of the partnerships will also be based on the high school's potential for improvement and its willingness to participate in collaborative efforts with other organizations including community colleges and private industry.

"This scholarship sends a clear message to disadvantaged students that the Regents and the University of California will recognize, reward, and enroll those students who overcome significant obstacles and make the most of their educational opportunities," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson.

"The Regents' endorsement of this scholarship reflects their strong and consistent support of university outreach efforts to expand educational opportunities and encourage academic excellence," he added.

Regents will work with individual campuses on fundraising efforts to generate $250,000 in scholarships next year and $1 million annually after four years.

"Members of the board look forward to working with campuses to reward students who overcome major obstacles and excel academically at our partner schools," said John Davies, chairman of the UC Board of Regents.

"Our hope is that students who come to UC through this scholarship program will advance their own academic achievement and enrich the educational experience of all students at our campuses," he added.

Under the program, one student from each of the partner high schools who enrolls at the partner UC campus will receive a Partnership Opportunity Scholarship. The students will receive up to $5,000 a year over and above other grants and scholarships from university, federal, state, and other sources.

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