Tomorrow Project Launched: Major Initiative from Beyond Our Gates
University of the Pacific's Tomorrow Project, an intensive, multiyear engagement with the region's underserved students, launched this month as the centerpiece of President Pamela A. Eibeck's Beyond Our Gates initiative.
The Tomorrow Project focuses on increasing the college readiness of K - 12 students so they can successfully compete in higher education. By improving the academic attainment of area youth, the project also will improve their families' and the community's quality of life. Pacific, in collaboration with local schools, governmental agencies and nonprofit groups, has launched three new academies for and added five existing programs to the Tomorrow Project. Eventually, the project will expand to 10 programs. University faculty members, outstanding credentialed teachers from area schools and Pacific students teach Academy courses.
The Tomorrow Project is the first major program of the Beyond Our Gates initiative, a partnership program focused on the San Joaquin region. Beyond Our Gates began in 2010 with six forums in Stockton to address how the University could better serve the community. Based on feedback from hundreds of local residents, Pacific launched the Tomorrow Project to focus on ways to close the educational opportunity gaps that have historically existed in Stockton.
"Together with our community partners, we will increase the number of local students graduating from high school and going on to college," Eibeck said. "More than anything else, this will help address our region's socio-economic challenges."
The summer sessions will especially benefit low-income children. Poor children are much less likely than their affluent counterparts to visit libraries and museums, take out-of-town trips and engage in other educationally enriching activities over the summer break. Such students lose the equivalent of one month of learning per year as a result of the so-called "summer slide," according to Duke University researcher Harris Cooper. This effect is compounded over time.
Tomorrow Project Academies:
Prep USA - Reach for the Stars
This program prepares promising young students for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related careers. The academy is modeled on the successful 32-year-old TexPrep program, which has educated more than 28,000 students in 17 Texas cities and contributed to extraordinary high school graduation and college enrollment rates. The Reach for the Stars Academy launched on Pacific's Stockton campus June 13 and runs Monday - Thursday through July 14. Approximately 40 students are enrolled in the program's first year.
Operated by Pacific's Gladys L. Benerd School of Education, Pacific's School of Engineering & Computer Science, and the Stockton Unified School District. Sponsored by the Reach for the Stars Foundation
Creating Opportunities via Education (COVE)
COVE aims to increase high school success and college readiness for 9th through 12th graders in the Lincoln Unified School District. Working with program mentors, students develop a personalized plan for high school success that they share with their parents and teachers. Twelfth graders learn about applying to college, financial aid and making the transition to higher education. COVE, which is held every Tuesday and Thursday, was launched on Pacific's Stockton campus June 13 and runs through July 14. It currently has 30 students.
Operated by Pacific's Gladys L. Benerd School of Education, Lincoln Unified School District and Sponsored by Lincoln Latin Leadership
Harmony Stockton, a daily afterschool arts academy for students in grades 3 through 5, is patterned on El Sistema, Venezuela's visionary and highly successful music program. In El Sistema, children learn how to sing, play an instrument and gain an appreciation of classical and other music. Students also sharpen their analytical skills as research has shown that learning to read music augments mathematical understanding. Harmony Stockton will launch at Marshall Elementary School July 25th and will run through the school year with 50 to 75 students.
Operated by Stockton Symphony, Pacific's Conservatory of Music and the Benerd School of Education; funded by the United Way, the Stockton Symphony and private donation.
Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP)
TAP students are high school juniors selected for their aptitude for mathematics and demonstrated leadership skills. These young people serve as teacher apprentices during their senior year. They then move to San Joaquin Delta Community College and later transfer to University of the Pacific before earning teaching credentials through San Joaquin County's Impact Program. TAP was established in 2006. The Academy, which is held every Tuesday and Thursday, launched on Pacific's Stockton Campus June 13 and runs through July 14. It has approximately 10 - 12 students.
Created through a partnership with the San Joaquin County Office of Education, San Joaquin Delta Community College, Pacific's Department of Mathematics, and Pacific's Benerd School of Education
Pacific Academia de Matematicas (PAM)
For the past four years, PAM has provided rigorous mathematics instruction to migrant learners in the 7th through 10th grades. The summer 2011 session serves more than 120 students primarily from Stockton and Lodi. This Academy, which is held Monday through Thursday, was launched on Pacific's Stockton campus June 6 runs through July 7. The Academy focuses on college readiness and teaches students and parents about academic opportunities and support systems that foster educational success.
PAM is a partnership between the San Joaquin County Office of Education, Pacific's Benerd School of Education, the Pacific Department of Mathematics, and Pacific's Latino Outreach Office.
This program brings together approximately 60 7th and 8th grade migrant students to Pacific's campus for intensive enrichment in English, language arts and mathematics. It also offers other college readiness activities as well as a parent and family education component. Program graduates can return as mentors. This innovative 5-year-old program begins in September and meets two Saturdays every month through April.
A partnership of Pacific's Latino Outreach Office, the Benerd School of Education and the San Joaquin County Office of Education
Summer Success Leadership Academy
This Academy encourages local high school students to apply to college by exposing them to university life and developing their academic and personal self-confidence. During the weeklong program, students live on Pacific's Stockton campus and experience the joys and challenges of college life. Program participants also create game plans to help prepare them for college. This year-old academy is the brainchild of Pacific student and Stockton resident Ty-Licia Hooker '12. This Academy starts July 18 with 50 students from 9th through 12th grades.
Operated by Ty-Licia Hooker and co-founder Michael Tubbs, and funded by Pacific's External Fund Committee, ASUOP, the Benerd School of Education and individual donors
Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA):
The oldest program in the Tomorrow Project, MESA engages academically disadvantaged students to help them excel in math and science and encourages them to enroll in mathematics, engineering or science programs in college. MESA students in good standing with the program who qualify for a Cal Grant also are eligible for an additional $1,000 scholarship. Pacific's MESA program was founded in 1993. This program starts in August and runs through May on local school sites with 1,200 students from grades 6 - 12.
Operated by Pacific faculty from the School of Engineering and Computer Science and sponsored by Statewide MESA and area school districts