University of La Verne, 12 Public School Districts Partner to Guarantee College Access for Students

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The Partnership for Access to College Education (PACE) launched on Jan. 19, 2017, with public school districts that encompass more than 50 high schools and serve more than 226,000 students per year.

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman and representatives of partner school districts and organizations

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman and representatives of partner school districts and organizations on Jan. 19, 2017.

The Partnership for Access to College Education will have an especially powerful impact on students who are the first in their families to go to college

The University of La Verne has partnered with more than a dozen Southern California school districts and organizations for one of the region’s single-largest initiatives to ensure that students have access to a high-quality, affordable college education.

The Partnership for Access to College Education (PACE) launched on Jan. 19, 2017, with public school districts that encompass more than 50 high schools and serve more than 226,000 students per year.

The program promises qualified students from the districts a pathway to college that includes:

  •     Access to college preparatory courses
  •     Guaranteed college admission
  •     Guaranteed financial aid of at least $10,000 per year
  •     Application fee waivers
  •     And a range of programs to assist with college readiness and the application process

“The Partnership for Access to College Education will have an especially powerful impact on students who are the first in their families to go to college,” University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman said. “These students need extra support and a sense of community to guide them on their paths to success, and that’s exactly what we are building with these school districts and organizations.”

About half of the students who attend the University of La Verne are the first in their families to go to college. About 75 percent of first-time freshman come from within 50 miles of La Verne.

PACE founding partners include: Alhambra Unified School District, Bishop Conaty – Our Lady of Loretto High School, Bonita Unified School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Covina Unified School District, Duarte Unified School District, Fontana Unified School District, Monrovia Unified School District, Montebello Unified School District, Pomona Unified School District, San Diego College Bound, Upland Unified School District, West Covina Unified School District, and Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District.

The partnership will go into effect immediately, starting with current high school seniors who apply for the fall 2017 term.

Superintendents and other officials from the districts gathered at the university to celebrate the launch.

“We’re extremely proud to partner with one of the great universities in the United States in creating higher education opportunities for our students,” said Mathew Holton, superintendent of the Chaffey Joint Union High School District, the second largest high school district in California. “Through this commitment, we hope our students can positively impact this community.”

Nancy Kelly, superintendent of the Upland Unified School District, led a delegation of five Upland representatives at the ceremony.

“We are proud and excited to enter into this guaranteed admissions agreement with the University of La Verne, which will create new opportunities for many of our students,” Kelly said. “Ensuring that every student has the opportunity to go to college is our unwavering commitment in the Upland Unified School District, and bold partnerships such as this go a long way toward making that happen.”

Ensuring students access to college is more important than ever. A recent study from the Economic Policy Institute revealed that the pay gap between college graduates and everyone else is the largest on record, with college graduates now earning an average of 56 percent more than non-graduates.

In addition to serving first-time college freshman, the PACE partnership will also benefit employees of the partner school districts. Faculty and staff admitted to the University of La Verne’s Ed.D. program are guaranteed a $100 per unit scholarship.

About the University of La Verne

Founded in 1891 and located 35 miles east of Los Angeles, the University of La Verne is a private, nonprofit, comprehensive institution founded on four core values: lifelong learning, ethical reasoning, civic and community engagement, and diversity and inclusivity. The University of La Verne serves nearly 8,400 students on the historic La Verne location as well as across 10 Southern California regional campuses. Four colleges – LaFetra College of Education, College of Business and Public Management, College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Law – provide 51 undergraduate degree programs, 17 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees.

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Rod Leveque
University of La Verne
(909) 593-3511
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