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Plan would create 'seamless' education

College of the Canyons expects to find out in July if they have been chosen for project funding

Posted: June 20, 2009 8:34 p.m.
Updated: June 21, 2009 8:00 a.m.
 

College of the Canyons is developing a plan that would make for a smooth education from preschool through college.

The proposal, known as the P-16 initiative, is designed to "create a seamless education from preschool through college and create a college-going culture in Santa Clarita," said Barry Gribbons, assistant superintendent of College of the Canyons.

The college was approached by the Foundation of California Community Colleges to submit a proposal for funding that would come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which places an emphasis on underrepresented populations, Gribbons said.

Officials have two weeks to finish off the submission, he said.

"We have a very short time to put it together," he said.

The community college is in talks with the William S. Hart Union High School District, Sulphur Springs School District and Newhall School District to form partnerships for the grant, he said.

The plan's focus would be creating programs for all grades while making "strong connections with businesses and industries to ensure that what we're teaching is relevant and needed by businesses," Gribbons said.

While nothing is finalized, the community college is exploring various educational possibilities for the initiative.

One involves using the weather station located on the College of the Canyons campus and possibly adding more stations and a garden on-campus.

"We talked about getting faculty from all different levels and have them develop lesson plans and desired outcomes for students in a coordinated manner across all levels using the same equipment," Gribbons said.

From preschool on, students would return to common concepts and tools.

"Somebody going through the education process will have the opportunity to use the same equipment in more and more sophisticated ways and see changes of the environment over 16 years," Gribbons said.

A seamless education between all grade levels would benefit students as adults.

"I think as we all work together, we can help make sure that they're prepared and successful as they complete their college education and get jobs," Gribbons said.

College officials expect to find out if they will receive approval in July, he said.

The amount of funding the college could receive is unknown.

"It's an honor to be chosen," Gribbons said. "In these especially difficult budget times. It's nice to be able to secure some external funding to help us do some really important work that will have a great benefit for students."

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