New grant brings schools together

FUTURE AHEAD—President Marvin Martinez of East Los Angeles College spoke at the first MUSD & ELAC California Career Pathways Trust Grant Mixer about the need to create a better education for high school students Nov. 13 at the ELAC Garden. CN/JULIANNE OBREGON

By Ayana Arroyo

East Los Angeles College and Montebello Unified School District celebrated a  $6 million grant for the success of the California Statewide Career Pathways program last Thursday.

The program was created to help guide K-12 students through the process of achieving their educational goals and also making it easier for them.

On average, a student at ELAC stays three to five years before they are able to transfer.

“That to a teenager seems like a lifetime,” ELAC President Marvin Martinez said, regarding the time span of the average student attending the campus.

The program helps  students entering any school in Montebello providing a list of classes they will need,considering the major they choose.

With that, students enrolling at ELAC will not struggle with classes they do not need and will be able to transfer faster.

Again this is a partnership between MUSD and ELAC, which means only students of that particular district can participate in the program.

Martinez took the stage discussing the three most important steps of the program.

The first was in creating a seamless transition for the students. In other words, help the student find the easiest way possible to transfer out to the University of California or California State Univeristy of their choice.

The second was to prepare students for the competition and hard work of the workforce after a student has graduated.

Also, to help break the ongoing cycle of the hundreds of students which graduate college and are unprepared for what to expect when they land a job.

The third step was for everyone to mingle and get to know each other. A way for faculty and staff, of both MUSD and ELAC, to get to know each other better and allow the students the best and most comfortable way to attain their educational goals.

“Welcome to the campus where it all started,” Martinez said. Briefly mentioning the partnership between the two.

A campus, which will now help students transfer out quicker and hopefully reach a higher transfer and graduation rate.

“Ensure success for our students,” said Susanna Contreras Smith, Montebello Unified School District Superintendent of Education.

Smith closely tied her growing up in Los Angeles to the education she wants students involved in the program to have.

Another goal discussed was to ensure students connected to all the curriculums.

The program offers various types of pathways students could choose from, such as Culinary Arts, Engineering and Business Administration.

A few teachers from the MUSD were applauded for their frequent involvement with helping win the grant. Both speakers, Martinez and Smith, gave quick tips on the things they would like to see happen next in the program.

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