April 26, 2010

Local Middle Schoolers Get a "Wired" Bus to Jump Start College Planning

Local middle school students will get an unusual chance to visit the world of college on Tuesday, April 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. as a 40-ft high "wired" bus arrives in the parking lot of Hilliard Comstock School.

Wrapped with the "Road to College: Get on Board" theme and decorated inside like a dorm room, the bus is outfitted with laptop computers loaded with career exploration, academic preparation and financial aid planning information. The Sonoma County stop is one of 40 being made up and down the state through May 14 as part of a partnership with AT&T and the California State University system. It is made possible by $500,000 in funding provided by AT&T.

"It is not too early to start talking about higher education to 5th and 6th graders," says Gina Geck, Associate Director of Student Outreach & Recruitment at Sonoma State University. "Those who start planning in high school may never catch up as the college admissions process increases in competitiveness in the years ahead," she says.

This is the second time that AT&T and CSU have partnered for Road to College with the message of academic preparation, access for under served students, and the need for future workforce professionals in California. In 2008, a $1.6 million four-year contribution from the AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Corp., funded the CSU College Corps program to provide college advising for 1,000 high school students, as well as the first Road to College bus tour.

"Student success is built on having a goal, a plan and the commitment to overcome challenges along the way," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Road to College is designed to provide students with the tools to create a better future. Student preparation is the key to a college education that ultimately drives California's economic engine."

Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057