Media Advisory: Chancellor to visit Richmond High School students, promote college

ATTENTION: Reporters covering education, local news

NOTE: Excellent visuals for TV crews

WHAT: University of California, Berkeley’s Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and top campus administrators will visit Richmond High School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) to promote college readiness, inspire potential UC students and offer teens practical tools for college success.

The visit is part of Achieve UC, a series of coordinated stops this fall by senior University of California leaders to select state high schools.  The goal is to connect with 10,000 high school students in low-income communities where there are lower-than-average college attendance rates. Achieve UC visits are being organized across the state by the UC Office of the President.

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Richmond High School, 1250 23rd Street, Richmond, Calif.

DETAILS: Chancellor Dirks and other top UC Berkeley administrators will join Richmond High School Principal Julio Franco and leaders from the high school, the school board, and the school district in an effort to improve college awareness, readiness and access among students at the school.

The program at Richmond High will include:

  • 9-10 a.m. – A breakfast reception with remarks by WCCUSD Superintendent Bruce Harter, UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks and UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Gibor Basri.
  • 10-11 a.m. –Dirks will address approximately 230 juniors and seniors who are active with the college access and advising programs offered at the high school.  The program also will include a review of the college admissions process by UC Berkeley Admissions Director Amy Jarich, and an overview of financial aid opportunities from UC Berkeley’s Financial Aid Director Rachelle Feldman.

BACKGROUND: UC Berkeley has partnered with Richmond High for over 40 years, offering college access programs and services through Berkeley’s Center for Educational Partnerships. The school has a significant number of low-income, undocumented and English-language learner students.  When they head off to college, most are the first in their families to pursue a postsecondary degree.

Despite struggling with a violent incident a few years back, Richmond High has seen a significant increase in the number of students preparing for college.  In 2012, nearly one-third of the senior class graduated with the courses they needed to attend college, and nearly 90 percent of the seniors who applied to a UC campus were admitted. Today, nearly half of its freshmen are on track to be college-eligible. UC Berkeley’s on-site programs play a major role in providing the support these students need to prepare for college.

The on-site contact on the day of the event will be Gail Kaufman, deputy director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Educational Partnerships. Contact her at (510) 681-7962 or gkaufman@berkeley.edu.