College OPTIONS was one of the first comprehensive grants under The McConnell Foundation’s Children, Youth, and Education Program. College OPTIONS serves residents of Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity counties, providing free, comprehensive services to strengthen the college and career readiness culture in the North State, and helps students of all ages and their families make informed decisions about post-high school educational opportunities. Their goal is to assist students with making a plan for their future and help them take the right steps to make it happen.
College OPTIONS is funded through a series of private and federal grants; the Foundation’s funding wraps around the federal grants ensuring services are available for ALL students in the five counties, not just the federal cohort students. College OPTIONS focuses on enhancing student, family and community awareness of college and career choices.
College OPTIONS’ services across the five counties include community events, financial aid services, scholarships, and advisors in middle and high schools and at their local center in Redding to discuss career and educational goals, helping students and their families make informed choices about the best path for them. Advisors also conduct college readiness workshops and organize visits to colleges and universities.
College OPTIONS was one of the first pre-kindergarten – grade 16 partnerships in California to include active participation from all segments of the community; partners include the University of California and the California State University systems, local community colleges, local private colleges and universities, local non-profit organizations, County Offices of Education, and the California Education Round Table Intersegmental Coordinating Committee.
In addition to increasing college application and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completions, UC/CSU eligibility rates, and student enrollment in post-secondary education, College OPTIONS also spearheaded The North State Promise. The North State Promise, which benefits students in Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity and Modoc counties, guarantees admission to certain universities for students who meet the basic requirements, provides admission priority and financial aid to other universities, and transfer assistance to students enrolled in the local community colleges.
College OPTIONS is also proud to support community collaborations including Reach Higher Shasta and Expect More Tehama. These regional partnerships ensure that all stakeholders are engaged in college and career readiness efforts and provide direct support to educators to increase student access and success in rigorous coursework.
For more information about College OPTIONS, visit: www.collegeoptions.org