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ASU Leads Project to Enroll Undeserved Students in Colleges

A multi-million grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is being used to improve college enrollment among most vulnerable students in various districts of Arizona.

Awarded to Arizona State University and the Be A Leader Foundation, the $8.7 million grant will establish Arizona Network for School Improvement that along with college enrollment will work on improving educational outcomes for underserved students.

The grant will be used to expand its existing school partnerships to build the K–12 pipeline and increase access to higher education.

“Our collaboration will scale our university-school district partnerships to drive innovation that enhances educational access and empowers learners to achieve their full potential,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said.

In Arizona, the number of underserved students enrolled in college remains low. The project will aim at increasing college-going outcomes for the nearly 56,000 students in various districts. The partnering districts will create, track and implement strategies to increase well-matched postsecondary enrollment.

The project will further offer strategy development, professional development, data tracking, virtual and texting strategies for students, identification of students who need specialized advising and more.

“The future of Arizona depends on students’ access to high-quality education as a pathway to opportunity,” said Sylvia Symonds, an associate vice president with Educational Outreach and Student Services at ASU

“We know that the resources are out there: research, great ideas and educators who care deeply about student success. The Network for School Improvement takes those resources and leverages them to have a strategic, measurable and lasting impact on Valley communities,” she added.

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