Joining with our Local Bay Area Community

March 14, 2019

Recently, a few members of POE leadership attended a meeting of “College Success.” College Success is a group started by Carol Mullin four years ago.  It consists of representatives from various Bay Area college scholarship programs who meet quarterly with the goal of sharing information and collaborating on programs in order to best serve the students while in college.   The scholarship programs include: POE, FCE, MVLA, PCF, MP Rotary, College Track, Sacred Heart Prep, Eastside College Prep, Peninsula Bridge Program, Alice Kleeman Scholarship Fund and Chi Am Circle.  

All of these organizations share a common goal: to help underserved, low-income, deserving Bay Area students who need financial assistance attend college.   Our discussions cover a wide range of topics (suggested by various members for each meeting) ranging from how to emotionally support students to the details of best practices in distributing scholarship awards. The discussion is generally informal although we do have speakers from time to time. 
What we do:

Share Information and Best Practices

  • Number of students we give scholarships to. 
  • Scholarship application requirements, criteria, software. 
  • Amount of money we give to each student and how we disburse the funds (to the student, to the college).
  • What we provide each student (mentor, workshops, stipends, internships…).
  • What the student can use the scholarship for (tuition, room and board, transportation, textbooks, food, computers etc).
  • Graduation and drop out rates.
  • How we assist and motivate students who are struggling.  
  • Big dates/events so we don’t conflict. 
  • Collaboration on specific students. 
  • Best ways to communicate with students.
  • Managing and motivating volunteers. 
  • How to support and resources for undocumented students.
  • Information on internships and jobs for students. 
  • Other: most inexpensive way for students to get textbooks, legal services at schools and in the community, relevant talks or conferences

Share Information about Experiences with Specific Universities

  • Services they provide to struggling students.
  • Services they provide to undocumented students.
  • How scholarship funds are disbursed.
  • How grants are disbursed (Pell, Cal, School).
  • Scholarship opportunities for existing college students. 

College Success SurveyIn 2018 our group put together a survey that was sent out to first generation, low-income students who have received scholarships through one of the College Success Programs.  The student comments from the survey were excellent and have been shared with incoming students.  For example, it has helped enable us to give new students guidelines for how much time they need to be studying.  Some of the info from the 138 survey responses: 

  • How students are performing and spending their time in college
  • Advice they would give freshmen
  • Amount of time studying, in class and working    
  • GPA
  • Living on or off campus
  • Experience with academic probation and how to avoid it
  • Academic opportunities they take advantage of (office hours, writing centers, tutorials, group study sessions, Summer Bridge Program)

Collaborating on Programs/Workshops for Students

As a group we have held several workshops for students across all of our scholarship programs.

  • Career Panels
  • DiSC Profile workshops
  • How to write a resume and find an internship
  • Currently working on a Networking event to be held this summer. 

 We also have a list of College Success Resources that includes: scholarships, DACA information, career planning, mentor training, and College Success survey results. 

As you know, at POE, our goal is to do everything in our power to enable the success of our students.  Working with College Success adds to that!

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