San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 15th, 2010
Texas State expands college-bound initiative

STAFF REPORT

Texas State’s Center for P-16 Initiatives announced last week that it is expanding its college bound program for students at San Marcos, Lehman and Seguin High Schools.

A grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation provided a $55,000 grant so the center, along with Seeking Opportunities Achieving Results (SOAR) can expand those services.

The grant will provide intensive services to current and upcoming high school seniors. The seniors selected for intensive services will consist of high school students who will be the first in their family to go to college and who come from low economic backgrounds.

“Over the last year, the College Access Project (CAP), with the help of our G-Force mentors, has helped to increase college-going rates by educating high school students, parents and the community at large on the college access process,” said Liz Castaneda, grant coordinator for the center. “This funding will allow us to continue the outreach efforts we have begun and bring us closer to our goal of eliminating barriers to higher education for students in the greater San Marcos community.”

Since 2008, the CAP, funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, has provided pre-college activities designed to increase college-going rates. The CAP works to boost the number of college-bound students by increasing the number of students submitting Texas Common Applications for college enrollment, free applications for federal student financial aid and improving access to pre-college activities and information to families.

The “College Bound,” initiative evolved from center efforts that brought many diverse partnerships together to develop SOAR. The education partners for SOAR consist of members representing Texas State, the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, San Marcos CISD, the City of San Marcos, San Marcos Hispanic Chamber, Austin Community College, San Marcos Education Foundation and United Way of Hays County.

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