New partnership adds to Berkeley’s diversity-outreach efforts

The University of California at Berkeley has entered a new outreach partnership with KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), a national network of 41 public charter schools that provides a college-going culture for students from primarily low-income households.

“This new partnership can only be seen as positive for increased equitable access to higher education for students from underserved backgrounds,” said Gibor Basri, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and inclusion. “And, the KIPP structure compliments the programs and services already in place at UC Berkeley to support academic success for low-income, first-generation and other underserved or underrepresented students.”

Other similar outreach partnerships under Basri’s Equity and Inclusion unit includes the Posse Scholars Program and the programs administered by the Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP), the university’s hub for K-12 and community college partnerships in support of equitable access to education. CEP programs also include the local Cal Prep charter school, the Transfer Alliance Program (TAP) and the Puente Project.

The KIPP network, which currently serves more than 50,000 students, makes “to and through college” its focus. KIPP mentors and advises all of its current and former students as they move through high school and college, and into the workforce. Ninety-five percent of KIPP students are African American or Latino, and more than 86 percent come from low-income families. The Bay Area is home to eight KIPP schools.

KIPP has college partnerships with dozens of higher education institutions including Ivy League universities such as Brown University, historically black colleges and universities including Spelman College in Atlanta, and public universities now including UC Berkeley.

“We’re excited to see our college partnerships with institutions like UC Berkeley expanding and thriving,” said KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg. “KIPP students are applying, getting accepted, and matriculating to our partner colleges and universities. Now it’s our job to maximize the impact of these partnerships to help our alumni stay in college and graduate.”