Rochford Program starts early in supporting high-need, low-income students on road to achievement

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Thanks to a generous leadership gift from Tim and Carol Rochford, a new program is making college more accessible for low-income middle school students with academic and leadership potential.

“Middle school is the ideal time to start preparing for college,” says Andrew Wall, dean of the U of R School of Education, “especially if students need a little extra time to unleash their full potential. College readiness spans academic, social, and financial factors—and one of the strengths of the new Rochford Program is that it is multidimensional. We are so grateful to Tim and Carol for their visionary philanthropy that has made this program possible.”

Jennifer King ’05, director of the Rochford Scholar College Access Program, says, “These students could benefit from additional help to make education beyond high school their reality. We are partnering with select students and their families to make the pursuit and attainment of a college degree an achievable goal.”

In conjunction with the Redlands Unified School District, the University of Redlands will provide Rochford Scholars with enhanced academic support, and college and career readiness experiences, including weekly tutoring, a Saturday Academy, and summer sessions.

The program’s support of the Rochford Scholars will extend from sixth grade to the completion of their first college degree. As part of the effort, Rochford Scholars who complete the program, and apply and are accepted to the University of Redlands will receive an annual $30,000 scholarship toward the cost of attendance.

The initiative taps the talent and enthusiasm of U of R faculty and students, while providing meaningful learning experiences not only for the Rochford Scholars but also for their student mentors and advocates.

“As a faculty fellow, I will be teaching a series of classes to students at the University of Redlands that focus on college access and inequity while emphasizing service learning,” says Rochford Leadership Initiative Faculty Fellow Angela Clark-Taylor of U of R’s School of Education. “U of R students will learn about the tensions between K-12 and higher education and the importance of a university’s engagement with the local community to improve college access; they will then create an evidence-based curriculum on college access for local middle school students.”

“We are partnering with select students and their families to make the pursuit and attainment of a college degree an achievable goal.”

—Jennifer King ’05
Director, Rochford Scholar College Access Program

 Read more about U of R’s first-generation students and programs.

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