BARSTOW — A one-year pilot program to guarantee a community college education for 100 students received the endorsement from the Barstow Unified School District Board of Trustees.
The school district board joined Barstow Community College and City of Barstow in approving resolutions to support the College Promise Campaign which enhances college access and completion for students.
"This is a pretty aggressive program," Board President Julie Clemmer said. "The rewards are incredible. We really feel it's doable. It's going to take some effort, but I'm really excited."
Superintendent Jeff Malan explained funds will be solicited from the business community, unions, nonprofit foundations, civic and public service organizations and private donors. These funds will augment what is already provided by federal and state financial aid programs.
The college has also applied for and received a $19,000 grant from the Futures Foundation to continue the Barstow College Promise planning efforts.
"We hope to continue engaging further on this so we can continue to progress and possibly make it two years for them (students). We want to sustain this for the future," Malan said.
"The estimate is 80 percent of students will qualify for financial aid. That means 20 percent that won't. Those are the students we will be looking at. The estimate is, for 100 students at 20 percent of them, it would be $30,000 a year."
Vice President Barbara Rose asked if the students will be held accountable. Clemmer said the requirements are still being worked out, but the students will probably need to finish within two years. She said there probably will also be a grade point average requirement as well.
"We are hoping it's very successful so will expand it to all students, to every graduate," Clemmer said.
Mike Lamb can be reached at 760-957-0613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter@mlambdispatch.