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SOAR partners announce college readiness grant

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
February 6, 2009

SOAR

Texas State University-San Marcos and its educational partners have expanded the “College Bound” initiatives for the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. 

Locally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded $164,000 to SOAR for its Community Partnership Program.

“With this funding, ‘College Bound’ will provide pre-college services for area students by establishing a community satellite Go-Centers which encourage high school students to apply for college,” said Michelle Pope, director of P-16 initiatives at Texas State. “During the cycle of the grant, we will be providing campus wide outreach information and services to the greater San Marcos Community.”

In addition the grant will provide intensive services to 60 current and upcoming 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.

The “College Bound,” initiative evolved from P-16 effort that brought many diverse partnerships together to develop what is known as SOAR. SOAR’s Educational Partners 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. 

“We will begin a series of community and district activities this spring and summer that will target parents and students of first generation families,” said Sonya Lopez, grant manager and grant co-investigator. “It is our hope that students and parents will know as much as possible about college life, financial aid, and possible barriers and pitfalls to avoid.” 

Chamber of Commerce President Phyllis Snodgrass said the project is key to achieving the educational attainment goals in San Marcos. 

“The Chamber of Commerce is very invested in the educational attainment of all San Marcos students,” she said. “We believe that educational attainment is a key component of our community’s economic future.”

“We are excited about the many possibilities of this grant to our students,” said SMCISD Superintendent Patty Shafer. “It will provide another opportunity for SMCISD to close the gaps in educational achievement for all children in our district.”

For more information about this initiative or the newly funded “College Bound” grant contact Sonya Lopez at (512) 245-3838.