2021 Grants Challenge

Beyond Recovery - Rebuilding for Success

The Latino community continues to experience deep impacts from COVID-19 and the potential disruption to the prosperity of the Latino community for generations to come is too large to ignore. By prioritizing first-generation college students, broadening access to financial assistance, and maximizing existing infrastructures and programs, the Southeast LA region will create college attainment in a more supportive environment while also facilitating responsive and inclusive recovery plans that meet the short and long-term needs of the community.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Other:: Southeast LA (SELA)

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Latino students in SELA that graduate from high school and access college has risen over the last few years. In 2009-10, the graduation rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was 62.4% and in 2018-19, it rose to 78.1% which is reflective of the overall growth in California. The percentage of SELA residents completing high school has remained consistent over the last decade. However, there are still large and persistent gaps for SELA students that include college preparation, access, and completion. These gaps are also on course to widen due to the pandemic with only an estimated 54% of the class of 2022 on track to graduate. The disparity is even wider in college: only 7% of SELA residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 31.2% and 32.6% of LA County and CA, respectively. A recovery plan that is responsive and inclusive is necessary to close poverty gaps, decision makers need to make meaningful strides to meet the educational needs in the SELA region.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

This grant will support the implementation of the College and Success in the Southeast (CASS) framework which has identified the following six policy values: (1) Maintain and Ensure College is Financially Accessible, (2) Prioritize Preparedness for First- Generation Students, (3) Increase College Preparedness Support Options in High School, (4) Strengthen Post-Secondary Support Options, (5) Create a SELA College-Going Culture, and (6) Prioritize Career Readiness and Expand Workforce Development. ABC will focus on collaboration and alignment efforts with partners, develop and align communication strategies to build awareness of educational needs, opportunities, and action on budgets and learning recovery plans, ABC will engage in relationship building with decision makers and convene cross-sectoral stakeholders to implement the framework and align systems - put solution ideas to action. ABC will also provide presentations, briefings, and capacity training to parents, targeting monolingual Spanish speakers, to build awareness of efforts.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 3,000

Indirect Impact: 440,000

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

By implementing the College Access & Success in the Southeast framework, ABC will lay the groundwork for an economic and educational recovery plan that ensures the SELA community is not left behind. ABC will implement a regional model that both grows workforce development opportunities and addresses gaps in higher education access. Through a coordinated collaborative effort, increased college access and completion rates intersecting with workforce needs and opportunities, the SELA region will have a more robust recovery from the pandemic and also increased opportunities for economic prosperity. By focusing on prioritizing support for first-generation students, broadening access to financial aid, and maximizing existing infrastructures and programs in the first year, SELA will create college attainment in a more supportive environment while also facilitating recovery plans that are responsive and inclusive to meet the short and long-term needs of the community.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Success will be measured by: Parents/caregivers and students are better prepared to complete the financial aid application evidenced by a pre/post survey Increase in the # of financial aid applications that are completed in specific SELA schools An increase in the college counselor-to-student ratio for high schools in SELA to support students in accessing financial aid information An increase in parent/caregiver understanding of options to meet admissions requirements for California’s public colleges and universities evidenced by a pre/post survey on A-G requirements Partnerships between at least one K-12 school district and local colleges/universities to promote access to higher education pathways Increased access to dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment programs in SELA Increased access to public and non-profit college and career readiness in SELA Cross-sector partnerships with 8 key local organizations/educational agencies to further workforce development opportunities in SELA

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

College matriculation

Community college completion

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to CONNECT