Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Colleges seek out Lake County students

Don Woodson of UCOP shares UC Berkeley materials with Clear Lake Students. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY – This month saw an unprecedented in event in Lake County, with 19 institutions of higher education coming together to visit students at local schools.

Higher Education Week events that took place May 14-15 were sponsored by the Lake County College Going Initiative.

The initiative – a partnership between the Lake County Office of Education, University of California Office of the President, and University of California San Francisco – describes an effort to promote a college-going culture in Lake County.

The three-year strong partnership continues to gain momentum as more colleges and programs combine efforts to support Lake County students.

The 19 schools involved in this year’s Higher Education Week were: Mendocino College, Yuba College, CSU East Bay, Chico State, Humboldt State, Sonoma State, DeVry University, Pacific Union College, St. Mary’s College, University of the Pacific and Dominican University.

Eight of the 10 UC institutions also were present: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Cruz, San Diego and San Francisco.

Ruben Lubers of UC Davis stated in his presentation that “everyone who wants to attend college has the opportunity to do so. Financial aide and scholarships are available to all students.”

Lubers, once homeless, shared his inspirational story of becoming a college graduate, and encouraged Lake County students to follow their dreams no matter what obstacle crosses their path.

UCOP offered a tremendous amount of support in the organization of the event. Angel Max Guerrero, coordinator of Regional Academic Collaboratives at UCOP, was pleased that the number of participating colleges has more than doubled in size since the first Lake County Higher Ed Week in 2006.

Blas Guerrero, UCOP Director of Regional Academic Collaboratives, stated: “Higher Ed Week highlights a collaborative approach to student and family outreach by UC, CSU, community colleges, and private schools. It is an effort to increase the number of students that pursue higher education. I would like to personally thank the high school counselors and administrators, Dave Geck (LCOE Superintendent), and Jamey Gill (LCOE Coordinator for the College Going Initiative), for their support in the implementation of this event.”

AVID students at Clear Lake High school welcomed the traveling team of college reps with posters. Students at Oak Hill Middle School made a point of thanking the college reps, stating that, “they had never had a presentation like this before.”

Daniel Gildea, a junior at Clear Lake High School, has had his eye on attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, with the goal of becoming a civil engineer.

After talking to UC Berkeley, Chico State and University of the Pacific representatives during the week, he said, “It is good to discover how many options I have.” He said he's excited now about investigating a program at University of the Pacific that will allow him to get hands-on experience working in the field with a civil engineer while attending college.

Higher Education Week is only one of the many activities offered to Lake County students by the partners of the Lake County College Going Initiative.

Many of the students attending this event have also participated in the UC Summer Algebra Academies, and many have attended a variety of student and parent workshops focused on college readiness skills and financial aide.

Last month, 57 of the 109 Lake County seniors accepted to four-year colleges attended the University Admit Reception.

“The hard work of all the partners, especially the high school counselors and administrators, has contributed to the success of this initiative,” said Dave Geck, superintendent of Lake County Schools. “Making a vision of helping all students gain access to higher education a reality requires the willingness to try new approaches and new strategies. ‘New’ means ‘change’, and ‘change’ means ‘hard work’. So I commend our high school counselors and administrators for their commitment to the future of our students.”

For more information please contact Jamey Gill, Curriculum Specialist and Coordinator for the Lake County College Going Initiative at the Lake County Office of Education, by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone, 928-5969.


Students wait for the events to begin. Courtesy photo.


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