We have exciting progress to share on Bridging the Gap, an effort designed to promote successful student transitions from high school to postsecondary education. This transition is a loss point for too many California students, and is especially complicated for low-income and disadvantaged students, two groups who are less represented in higher education. Irvine is investing to develop exemplary regional partnerships featuring K-12 and postsecondary institutions working together to achieve systemic change — change that helps more students make more seamless transitions.
We’re pleased to announce the first partnerships to receive funding:
These grantees demonstrated strengths in their proposals that we view as key to Bridging the Gap's success. One involves the quality of their partnerships, as characterized by their shared responsibility for providing positive student experiences across segments. Another is the depth of their mutual intent to integrate their work to improve student transitions, including a real commitment to ensure that prior, existing, and future efforts in their regions all contribute to this aim.
In a blog post last fall, my colleague Elizabeth González, director of our Youth program, introduced the Bridging the Gap effort along with a framework that describes key practices for educational institutions and policymakers. She also introduced the initiative overview inviting partnerships like those we announce today to address the gap.
Bridging the Gap is an important facet of our Youth Program strategy, which seeks to increase the number of low-income young people in California who complete high school on time and earn a postsecondary credential by age 25. We’re glad to have two partnerships on board to activate the effort. We are also encouraged by the field’s response to our announcement of this work, and see it as a sign of the importance of this effort and confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. More to come!