Delta College keeps 8-year-old promise to local students
by Kate Brown
Jun 15, 2014 | 3701 views | 1 1 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kimball High School graduate Madison Goias will attend San Joaquin Delta College on a full two-year scholarship as part of the Passport to College program, a promise made to 12,036 fifth-graders in 2006.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Kimball High School graduate Madison Goias will attend San Joaquin Delta College on a full two-year scholarship as part of the Passport to College program, a promise made to 12,036 fifth-graders in 2006. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
Starting in August, 2,170 local graduates of the Class of 2014 will attend San Joaquin Delta College on a full-ride, two-year scholarship from the Passport to College program.

Michal Kerns, assistant superintendent and vice president of student services at the community college, said that Passport to College, established in 2006, was a promise to 12,036 students in 257 fifth-grade classes from 146 schools. The students could receive full financial support for their first two years of higher education if they continued to do well through high school.

It is a promise that Susanne Goias, mother of 18-year-old Madison, was eager for her daughter to pursue.

“The program encourages the kids to focus and do well in high school,” Susanne Goias said.

Madison Goias just graduated from Kimball High School and planned early on in her high school career to take advantage of the promise made to her eight years ago.

“I decided that I was going to utilize this opportunity when I got into high school, because I realized that time goes by fast and we need to be prepared for our future,” she said.

In 2012, the Delta College Board of Trustees approved a $2.25 million loan from the San Joaquin Delta College Foundation to cover the Passport to College students’ fees.

Students must complete 60 units — two years of credits — within three years of continuous study.

Failed and dropped classes will be counted toward the 60-unit maximum to ensure that students are actively trying to succeed.

The program requires students and representatives from their respective high schools to complete a series of steps and sign what Kerns called a Passport Agreement.

The steps include: attending a Delta College-sponsored parent information night, submitting an application for admission to the college, completing an academic assessment test and filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“All of the requirements Delta has asked for has forced the students to practice independence early on; Madison has done pretty much everything on her own,” Susanne Goias said.

The FAFSA determines whether a student can receive financial aid outside of the Passport to College program, which will then pay any costs that are not covered.

“Over the past few years, knowing that the first two years of school were taken care of was such a huge relief,” Susanne Goias said.

To measure how much of a difference the program has made, Delta College is creating reports that analyze the number of students enrolled in Fall 2013 compared with those enrolled for Fall 2014.

Kerns noted that Passport to College was a one-time program and that there are no plans to restart the eight-year-long process.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

 
Comments
(1)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
ReadDaily
|
June 16, 2014
This is awesome! With the low percentage of Delta students transferring to 4 yr colleges, lets track these kids and see if this increases those numbers! It was not so long ago that community college was FREE TUITION ~ yet this is even better since it is an incentive to get your act together! Kuddos to Delta College!


We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.