East Bay Consortium of Educational Institutions, Inc.
Established in 1978 as part of the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) administered by the California Student Aid Commission, the East Bay Consortium of Educational Institutions, Inc., (EBC) was founded to develop and improve educational opportunities for students in the East Bay. EBC serves over 9,000 5-12th grade students from Alameda and West Contra Costa Counties each year.
The East Bay Consortium’s mission is to increase the number of students finishing high school and enrolling in postsecondary institutions, through intensive educational enrichment. We offer many resources to help improve educational opportunities for students. Through these resources and our efforts, we promote their success in secondary school and in college. Most of our programs serve students from low-income families, first generation college students or students from schools or geographic regions with historically low college attendance rates.
The Pre-Collegiate Academy
In 1991, the East Bay Consortium, in collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Merritt College (OUSD), instituted the Pre-Collegiate Academy (PCA), a program specifically designed for students in Oakland middle and secondary schools. PCA was established to remedy the growing number of students from low socio-economic backgrounds who were not qualifying for admission to higher educational institutions. PCA aims to increase the numbers of middle school students who qualify for and pursue postsecondary studies, primarily by strengthening students’ mathematical skills through summer enrichment courses and support services offered during the academic year.
Recognizing the important role of teachers in accomplishing its goal, the PCA includes a teacher-training component that is designed to encourage the professional development of teachers from OUSD schools, as well as encourage undergraduates attending local universities and majoring or minoring in math or science to pursue careers in teaching.
Selection of PCA Students
Seventh grade students from designated schools are invited to participate in the Pre-Collegiate Academy based on academic and disciplinary standing: students must earn a GPA of 2.5 or higher and must possess no serious record of behavior or truancy. To reinforce the PCA’s strong belief in parental involvement, all students and parents must attend a mandatory meeting after receiving their invitation letter. Students who meet the above criteria are admitted on a first come-first serve basis. In order for students to continue in the PCA, they must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better, continue to have no serious record of behavior or truancy, and consistently participate in summer and academic year PCA programs.
PCA Summer Program
The primary emphasis of the four-week intensive summer program is enrichment in the area of mathematics. Class work emphasizes cooperative and hands-on , manipulatives-based learning and focuses on strengthening skills through innovative, structured activities, such as building model houses and schools, becoming active participants in the virtual stock market, and assembling three-dimensional geometric models.
The location of PCA alone is a critical component of PCA’s mission. PCA is held at the Merritt College campus in Oakland. Students involved with the program are completely immersed in a college setting in which they walk alongside actual college students and sit in classes normally used for college courses. However, exposing students to a college environment alone is not enough and the need for a more personalized approach to college advising plays a pivotal role in PCA. In response to the needs (emotional, social, academic, etc.) of our students, PCA provides a month long series of College Readiness Workshops (CRWs) for the rising 9th- 12th graders and are held in the afternoon portion of PCA.
PCA Academic Year Programs
During the school year, PCA students continue to participate in a number of activities that reinforce the skills learned during the summer program, as well as engage in other events that prepare them for the college entrance process. Thus, the community of “Pre-Collegians” is continued throughout the school year.
Academic year programs include: after-school tutoring, mentoring activities, field trips, Saturday Programs, college advisement, and workshops and seminars for families.
Tutoring: After-school and In-Class
The East Bay Consortium provides after-school tutoring for students at the following schools in Oakland:
- Fremont High School
- Life Academy
- Skyline High School
- St. Elizabeth High School
Tutoring at these schools is open to all students. At each site, tutoring is advertised by the school, and all students are highly encouraged to participate. Students can get help in any subject, including English, math, science, and social studies.
The East Bay Consortium provides in-class tutoring for students at:
- Dewey High School
- United for Success
A college student on staff with the East Bay Consortium is paired with a teacher and assists students during class time.
College Information Day
In a collaborative effort with Cal State East Bay, Holy Names University, UC Berkeley, St. Mary’s College of CA, Peralta Colleges and Oakland Unified School District, the East Bay Consortium holds an annual College Day at UC Berkeley in the fall. The goal is to provide a positive experience that will stimulate middle school and high school students to explore college choices and opportunities.
Over 60 representatives from colleges and universities throughout the United States attend and offer prospective students a glimpse into their college. In addition, students and parents have the opportunity to attend several workshops. Workshops in English and Spanish include: admission information, financial aid, college making it happen, the independent colleges, completing the UC and CSU application forms, required college admissions tests, transfer making it happen, who do you want to be? and financial aid options for undocumented students.
The East Bay Consortium’s College Day is usually held during the first or second Saturday in October.
I’m Going to College
I'm Going to College (IGTC) is designed to create an awareness of the opportunities of a college education to elementary school students, and to make going to college an attainable goal. The program works with all 5th grade students at an elementary school.
The East Bay Consortium works with 5th grade teachers to guide students through a six part curriculum, covering topics such as: the benefits of a college education, majors and careers, college admission, financial aid, how to choose a college, and good study habits to prepare for college. The IGTC curriculum can be integrated into subject curriculum such as geography, math and literacy.
The curriculum ends with a field trip to UC Berkeley. The I'm Going to College field trip is designed to make college a reality for participating elementary school students. The students experience the host college as students for a day. Students arrive at the university, attend an orientation and welcome assembly, and receive their registration and financial aid packages, including "I'm Going To College" backpacks. Throughout the day students tour the campus, take classes taught by college students, eat lunch and have the opportunity to hear from college students about the importance of education.
As most IGTC students have never been to a college campus before, the experience is one they will never forget. This program gives students an experience that will motivate them throughout middle and high school.
Cash for College
East Bay Consortium is the east bay regional Cash for College coordinator.
California Cash for College is a statewide effort of the California Student Aid Commission designed to provide free, professional assistance to families completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form. California Cash for College mobilizes financial aid professionals, primarily from colleges and universities, to help college-bound students and their families complete the forms required for financial aid. Over 50 workshops are offered in the east bay region. Members of our East Bay Cash for College coalitions include local elected officials, financial aid experts from our colleges and universities, college access providers and community organizations. Most workshops are held during the months of January and February, provide multi-lingual assistance, and some provide volunteer income tax assistance.
College Career Information Centers (CCIC)
The College and Career Information Centers (CCIC) are dedicated to promoting access to higher education for students in Oakland. Our mission is to provide information and college advising services related to college admission, financial aid and other topics associated with students pursuing and accessing higher education.
Services are open to all of the students at the schools but our primary focus is working with seniors. In order to effectively assist in the college-going process as well as in the financial aid process, the entire senior classes at the CCIC sites are served intensively through one-on-one advising sessions, appointments and classroom workshops. Subsequently, students in the broader school population are served based on outreach efforts, workshops and response to center services.
The CCIC is managed by EBC Program Coordinators and is staffed by college students who are trained college advisors. Each college advisor has a caseload of seniors and coordinates an aspect of the CCIC such as outreach, logistics, financial aid and our community college bound program. The Program Coordinator as well as all college advising staff perform all of the services provided at Centers.
The Centers are located at Castlemont, Fremont, Life Academy of Health Bioscience, McClymonds and MetWest High Schools.