College of Marin Awarded $1.3 Million Grant

May 5th, 2016 - 3:39pm

News Contact:
Nicole Cruz
Office of the Superintendent/President

College of Marin Awarded $1.3 Million Grant

Transformation Grant will assist students in achieving their goals in fewer semesters

KENTFIELD, CA—May 5, 2016— The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office notified College of Marin officials that the institution had been awarded a $1.3 million grant to support student success. The Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Grant will aid efforts already underway to assist greater numbers of students to achieve their educational goals in fewer semesters. 

College of Marin is among 43 California community colleges awarded the grant. According to the Chancellor’s Office, 86 colleges applied.

“I am extremely proud of the College’s talented and committed team of faculty and staff.  This is just another in a series of great things currently happening at College of Marin,” said Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon.

Marin County education data continue to show that while roughly 90 percent of students are graduating from high school on time, only about 60 percent have completed A-G course work (college ready curriculum) at the time of graduation.  Even this number is deceiving, as a disproportionate number of students from low-income households and students of color are graduating high school underprepared, do not graduate college on time, or are dropping out of college altogether. The impact is such that these same students end up in lower paid careers, with less and less chance of breaking the cycle of poverty within their families and communities as a whole.  

“At its core, this is about educational equity and social justice,” Coon stated.  The goal of the grant is to put additional resources toward a more integrated approach to college readiness.

Specifically, the grant will support efforts such as College of Marin Providing Access and Supporting Success (COMPASS) to work with students while in high school to get them closer to college ready (on track for A-G completion and in need of less remediation per placement exams) by the time they graduate. COMPASS, now at Terra Linda and San Marin high schools will expand to San Rafael and Tamalpais high schools this coming year, followed by Novato High School.

It will also support expansion of Summer Bridge to work with students via intensive content review immediately after high school to impact placement scores. The grant will allow College of Marin and its partner, 10,000 Degrees, to expand Summer Bridge to serve 100 incoming first-year students.

Finally, the grant will support creation of Humanities 101 and expansion of First Year Experience learning communities and dedicated tutoring to work with students via a coherent, integrated first year experience focused on contextual, thematic cohort-based college readiness and skill development. The goal is to have all students prepared to take college-level math and English by the end of their first year.

Efforts in these three areas are either under way, being piloted, or in development at the College this academic year. Further development of these three meta-strategies is reflected clearly in the objectives and action steps of the College’s Strategic Plan 2015-2018. One area of focus within the Strategic Plan is the development and implementation of an institutional Basic Skills Master Plan. That plan’s recommendations, now complete, reflect the activities funded by this grant.

Senior Vice President of Student Learning and Student Services Jonathan Eldridge headed up grant application efforts. “The innovative thinking and absolute dedication to student success on the part of faculty and staff positioned us well to obtain this grant. We can now bring to scale proven practices that will have a huge impact on leveling the educational playing field for so many of Marin County’s students and accelerate their degree, certificate, and transfer attainment,” said Eldridge.

About the College—90 Years of Transforming Lives Through Education and Training
College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

College of Marin is one of 113 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.