LA VERNE, CA – With the scrawl of a pen and a handshake, Bassett Unified’s Interim Superintendent Debra French solidified a partnership with the University of La Verne for the Partnership for Access to College Education (PACE), a program that aims to ensure high school students have access to a first-rate, affordable college education.
French and Director of Policy, Compliance and Business Partnerships Linda Bermudez represented Bassett Unified at the July 20 event as one of the newest districts to join the partnership.
The PACE program creates a pathway to the University of La Verne for students who meet entrance requirements which includes guaranteed admission, financial aid of at least $10,000 per year, application fee waivers and programs to assist with college readiness and the application process.
“This partnership is an amazing opportunity for our students who seek to further their education at a renowned institution,” French said. “We at Bassett Unified believe that having financial and administrative support and guaranteed admission to the University of La Verne will encourage more students to achieve academic excellence in the hope of gaining these rewards.”
Bassett Unified’s graduation rate jumped nearly 4 percentage points to reach 97.1 percent for the 2015-16 school year. The goal was reached through the District’s focus on providing state-of-the-art classroom technology, boosting parent engagement and most importantly – infusing students with a drive to attend college.
The University of La Verne launched the PACE program in January with partnerships with a dozen public school districts and one private high school. The July 20 event celebrated the partnership between the university and 11 additional school districts, including Bassett Unified. In all, the 23 districts will bring nearly 100 high schools into the program.
To qualify for the PACE program, students must graduate from high school without needing to complete any remedial courses and have been continuously enrolled with the District for at least four years. They must also meet a minimum SAT score of 980 and ACT score of at least 19.
The program also applies to District employees, with those admitted to the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program receiving a $100 scholarship per unit.
“What drives me every day as a president of this University are two words – students first,” University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman said. “We want every one of your students to know that the elements at the University of La Verne may be the perfect fit for them, where they can achieve more than they ever imagined.”
072017_BASSETT_PACE1: Bassett Unified’s Interim Superintendent Debra French (left) with University of La Verne President Devorah A. Lieberman after signing the Partnership for Access to College Education agreement, which aims to ensure Bassett Unified students have access to a first-rate, affordable college education.
072017_BASSETT_PACE2: Bassett Unified’s Interim Superintendent Debra French signs the Partnership for Access to College Education agreement with University of La Verne President Devorah A. Lieberman. The agreement includes guaranteed admission, financial aid of at least $10,000 per year, application fee waivers and a range of programs to assist with college readiness and the application process.