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Program Helps At-Risk High School Students’ Transition to College

studentslibrarywebThe Point
Fall 2016

Point Park University has received a $130,000 grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation to initiate “Bridge to Your Future: Explore the Possibilities,” a two-year pilot program that will address the problems of access to, and success in, college for underrepresented, at-risk students. A group of faculty are collaborating on the multidisciplinary program, in which Point Park will partner with Pittsburgh-area school districts to provide dual-enrollment opportunities and other support for high school seniors as they prepare to transition to college. The pilot program is based on national best practices that address core barriers to at-risk students.

Reaching At-Risk Students

According to Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Sharon Navoney, “This generous grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation is exciting and forward thinking in that it will help us to reach students who may not otherwise consider college. Underrepresented and low-income high school students often do not have the supports in place to pursue a college education, even if they have the desire and ability.”

“The ‘Bridge to Your Future’ program will enable Point Park and The Pittsburgh Foundation to tackle core barriers to college access, including student loan literacy, college-level readiness and college acculturation,” says Navoney. Through a competitive application and selection process, high school teachers (supported by their school district) will be selected to collaborate with University faculty on curriculum and professional development in order to deliver learning outcomes, and establish classroom culture practices, within their home classrooms for college credit.

Critical Community Partnership

Navoney says that the value of support from partners such as The Pittsburgh Foundation “Cannot be overstated. Without such critical external support, Point Park could not dream big and innovate in how we meet student needs, as well as the workforce needs of the regional economy. Together, we are able to collaborate and build bridges, so that students are able to succeed and go on to be leaders here in Pittsburgh, across the country, and around the world.”

Text by Cheryl Valyo
Photo by John McKeith
The Point is the magazine of Point Park University