Cal State East Bay and Chevron expand math academies for underserved students

  • May 10, 2010

California State University, East Bay today announced a $1.5 million investment from Chevron Corporation to significantly expand CSUEB’s Mathematics Achievement Academies for aspiring college students in the Bay Area. The academies support underserved students in middle and high schools in the East Bay to help strengthen their mathematical skills and prepare them for academic success. 

“We are exceptionally pleased to be partnering with Chevron in this critical endeavor,” said Mohammed H. Qayoumi, president of CSUEB. “Both the university and Chevron are committed to ensuring the long-term social and economic vibrancy of our region. By providing new opportunities and new pathways for aspiring young students to prepare for college and career success, we’re not only helping to create a better-prepared workforce, but also stronger communities.”

The investment is through Chevron’s California Partnership, an initiative to invest in economic development and education in its home state through innovative partnerships. The program focuses specifically on supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs to provide the skills needed for students to succeed in the global economy and increase college and career readiness.

Twelve Chevron Mathematics Achievement Academies, serving 350 students primarily from underserved communities in Richmond, Oakland, Dublin, Livermore and Concord, will be run jointly by CSUEB and partners in the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) and the Alameda County Collaborative for Learning and Instruction in Mathematics (ACCLAIM). Each academy will enroll at least 25 students.

Mathematics is key to predicting college entrance and success; 80 percent of students who pass Algebra I and Geometry by the 10th grade successfully go on to college, as documented by the College Board in 2002. Through innovative teaching methods, mentoring and field trips, the academies emphasize the importance of mathematics to college and career readiness.

“Our mission at CSUEB is providing access to higher education and success. Helping underserved students achieve in math opens new opportunities and creates possibilities for their future, which is what we’re all about,” said Stan Hebert, associate vice president of Student Affairs at CSUEB, whose office coordinates the financing and overall administration of the academies.

Chevron’s commitment to sponsoring the academies will continue in 2011 and 2012, allowing students to pursue a three-year college preparatory sequence of Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II.

“Cultivating student interest in math and science is at the heart of our investment with CSUEB, recognizing that our sustained commitment is vital to ensure that high school students graduate college-ready and career bound,” said Matt Lonner, manager of Global Partnerships and Programs at Chevron. “This innovative collaboration to expand the Mathematics Achievement Academies will help at-risk students build math proficiency, inspire the pursuit of STEM knowledge and ultimately better prepare them for a lifetime of success.”

In addition to providing financial support for the Chevron Mathematics Achievement Academies, Chevron employees will also donate time through a mentorship program for the students. Mentors will provide tutoring support to help students with specific assignments and stay current with homework and other program assignments as well as attend program events.

This year, a total of 19 summer academies will be held at middle and high schools in nine districts in Alameda, Dublin, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Livermore, and the Rodeo, Concord and Richmond areas.  Teachers for the five-week summer academies will come from ACCLAIM, a professional development partnership between the university, ACOE, Chabot College and school districts throughout the region that has provided professional development for more than 6,000 teachers since 2000. ACCLAIM will also provide day-to-day site facilitation, under the leadership of executive director Philip Gonsalves.

"Historically, students who struggle in mathematics often end up with 'more of the same.' But it's not about teaching kids how to do math, it's about teaching kids mathematics that makes sense," said Gonsalves, a mathematics lecturer at CSUEB and a mathematics coordinator at ACOE.

"The Alameda County Office of Education is thrilled to have such strong support from Chevron in our area, and we are excited to step up to the plate to facilitate districts’ participation," said Drew Kravin, a mathematics coordinator at the ACOE and co-director of ACCLAIM.

Eric Suess, professor and department chair of statistics and biostatistics at CSUEB, will coordinate the program evaluation and assessment. Suess is also a co-director of ACCLAIM.

CSUEB has identified college pathway programs, including these academies, as a key element of its University of Possibilities fundraising campaign. The campaign also seeks to raise funds for student access and improvements to STEM education. Chevron’s grant is the largest contribution to the campaign to date, which began its leadership phase in 2009.

In addition to Chevron’s investment, further support for Mathematics Achievement Academies will come from AT&T, Bank of America, Union Bank of California, Lam Research, the CSU Chancellor’s Office and school districts in Alameda County. 

About CSUEB

California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

About Chevron

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company’s success is driven by the ingenuity and commitment of its employees and their application of the most innovative technologies in the world. Chevron is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. The company explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron has been headquartered in California for 130 years and is the state’s largest company. More information is available at www.chevron.com/CA.

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