Salt Lake Community College has been awarded funding for two grants through a pilot program that will help alternative high school students get to know the college’s resources that are available to them.
The name of these grants are SLCC/Horizonte College Access Scholars Program. The funding is being provided by two grants provided by the state. The purpose of the first grant is to provide faculty to either teach mathematics. The second provides students an opportunity to learn about the resources offered by SLCC.
The grant is named after Horizonte High School, an alternative high school that has a very diverse population of students. There are currently about 800 students that attend the school. Many come from low-income, working class families and some have children.
“I was sure I wouldn’t be able to go to college,” said business student Justin Alvarez. “Because I come from a low-income family my mentality was if I wanted to go to college, I wouldn’t be able to pay for it.”
“I didn’t put much thought into it, but then the teachers at Horizonte talked to me about scholarships and what Horizonte grants could provide. I started looking at college and what is possible for me. I came to the realization that even being a minority coming from a low-income family, I was able to get the same chances in college to further my education.”
“Most (Horizonte) students have to overcome life struggles like drugs, family problems and wrong crowds,” said Richard Diaz, coordinator for Office of Recruiting Relations.
One of the grant’s main focuses is to help students prepare for college. One grant helps provide field trips to SLCC and help with admissions and financial aid. The second grant is focused on academics. It helps provide faculty at the high school to teach mathematics. The goal of the grant is improve math scores so when students start classes at SLCC they are able to start out in higher math classes.
“Students were graduating but not following through to college, or they were coming to SLCC and not being as successful as they could be,” Diaz said.
SLCC did have to apply for this grant and because of the money provided there is a full time advisor at the high school. The grant may extend to other high schools in the future.
“The neatest part of the grant is that we are working with Academic Affairs and student service departments to ensure the access and success for students from Horizonte High School,” Diaz said.
“Academic Affairs, the faculty and Student Services office want to help students be successful,” Diaz said.
Students have to sign up, then they have a one-on-one meeting with an adviser. Then it is up to the student if they want to participate.