Winter 2008 |
MCC is improving college access and increasing completion rates for
underrepresented students with the Access to a College Education (A.C.E.)
pilot program. A.C.E. will provide information, technical assistance and
college visits to low-income, first generation and English language learning
MCC is ideally suited to offer the A.C.E. outreach program because the
College already offers broad access through an open admissions policy and
provides quality, affordable education to students from all walks of life.
Long-term impacts of the project will derive from its ability to be
replicated on a broader scale by College outreach offices to assist students
and parents in navigating the process of applying for and beginning college.
A.C.E. program participants will meet on scheduled Saturdays when school is in
session and have field trips on days when school is not in session. The
program will also arrange regional college visits, where prospective college
students will be able to experience college life by talking to staff in
college and university admissions, academic affairs, student life and
"Outreach to underrepresented groups is crucial to all higher
education, not just community colleges, and it shows a real commitment to the
importance and value of education," said Cynthia Gooch, associate vice
president for equity and diversity. Gooch is providing administrative
oversight of the A.C.E. program.
Upon completion of A.C.E., at least 80 percent of participating students
and parents will indicate increased knowledge of college readiness topics, and
those students will have taken a college entrance exam. At least 50 percent
of participants will have applied to or enrolled in college, and at least 75
percent of participants will have completed financial aid or scholarship
The pilot program is due in part to $38,000 in funds awarded by the Nebraska
Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education; MCC was the only
community college to receive College Access Challenge Grant fundng.
Students eligible for A.C.E. must be from a low-income family, a first
generation college-bound student, a high school senior with at least a 2.5 GPA
and a high school graduation date of May or summer 2009. Parent or guardian
participation is also a crucial and necessary requirement.