2005 California Education Code Sections 69560-69566 Article 4. Student Opportunity and Access Program

SECTION 69560-69566

69560.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (a) Lack of information about postsecondary educational
opportunities and low achievement levels are primary barriers to a
college education for students from schools that have low eligibility
and college participation rates.
   (b) The Student Opportunity and Access Program, initiated in 1978
to increase postsecondary educational opportunities, has been
successful in meeting its goals to increase the availability of
information, improve students' access to higher education by raising
their achievement levels, and reduce the duplication of services by
coordinating outreach efforts.
   (c) The intersegmental consortium nature of the program has proven
to be a highly effective mechanism in coordinating existing services
and in fostering the cooperation of the various education segments
   (d) An essential core of state funding for the program is required
to maintain its intersegmental character, which has generated better
communication, understanding, and teamwork resulting in an impact
enhanced by the collective effort, while minimizing duplication of
services in a geographic area.
   (e) The anticipated growth in the state's schoolage population
indicates an increasing demand for services provided by the program
to assist students to compete successfully for admission to
postsecondary educational institutions.
   (f) Salaries for college students of low-income backgrounds to
provide informational and tutorial help for students from schools
that have low eligibility and college participation rates is a
cost-effective method of increasing access and of providing student
financial aid.
69561.  (a) The Student Opportunity and Access Program is
administered by the Student Aid Commission.
   (b) The Student Aid Commission may apportion funds on a progress
payment schedule for the support of projects designed to increase the
accessibility of postsecondary educational opportunities for any of
the following elementary and secondary school students:
   (1) Students who are from low-income families.
   (2) Students who would be the first in their families to attend
   (3) Students who are from schools or geographic regions with
documented low-eligibility or college participation rates.
   (c) These projects shall primarily do all of the following:
   (1) Increase the availability of information for these students on
the existence of postsecondary schooling and work opportunities.
   (2) Raise the achievement levels of these students so as to
increase the number of high school graduates eligible to pursue
postsecondary learning opportunities.
   (d) Projects may assist community college students in transferring
to four-year institutions, to the extent that project resources are
   (e) Projects may provide assistance to low-income fifth and sixth
grade students and their parents in order to implement outreach
efforts designed to use the future availability of financial
assistance as a means of motivating students to stay in school and
complete college preparatory courses.
   (f) Each project shall be proposed and operated through a
consortium that involves at least one secondary school district
office, at least one four-year college or university, at least one
community college, and at least one of the following agencies:
   (1) A nonprofit educational, counseling, or community agency.
   (2) A private vocational or technical school accredited by a
national, state, or regional accrediting association recognized by
the United States Department of Education.
   (g) The commission, in awarding initial project grants, shall give
priority to proposals developed by more than three eligible
agencies.  Projects shall be located throughout the state in order to
provide access to program services in rural, urban, and suburban
   (h) The governing board of each project, comprising at least one
representative from each entity in the consortium, shall establish
management policy, provide direction to the project director, set
priorities for budgetary decisions that reflect the specific needs of
the project, and assume responsibility for maintaining the required
level of matching funds, including solicitations from the private
sector and corporate sources.
   (i) Prior to receiving a project grant, each consortium shall
conduct a planning process and submit a comprehensive project
proposal to include, but not be limited to, the following
   (1) The agencies participating in the project.
   (2) The students to be served by the project.
   (3) The ways in which the project will reduce duplication and
related costs.
   (4) The methods for assessing the project's impact.
   (j) Each project shall include the direct involvement of secondary
school staff in the daily operations of the project, with preference
in funding to those projects that effectively integrate the
objectives of the Student Opportunity and Access Program with those
of the school district in providing services that are essential to
preparing students for postsecondary education.
   (k) Each project shall maintain within the project headquarters a
comprehensive student-specific information system on students
receiving services through the program in grades 11 and 12 at
secondary schools within the participating districts.  This
information shall be maintained in a manner consistent with the law
relating to pupil records.
   (l) At least 30 percent or the equivalent of each project grant
shall be allocated for stipends to peer advisers and tutors who meet
all of the following criteria:
   (1) Work with secondary school students.
   (2) Are currently enrolled in a college or other postsecondary
school as an undergraduate or graduate student.
   (3) Have demonstrated financial need for the stipend.
   (m) Each project should work cooperatively with other projects in
the program and with the commission to establish viable student
services and sound administrative procedures and to ensure
coordination of the activities of the project with existing
educational opportunity programs.  The Student Aid Commission may
develop additional regulations regarding the awarding of project
grants and criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the
individual projects.
69562.  The Student Aid Commission shall establish a 12-member
project grant advisory committee to advise project directors and the
commission on the development and operation of the projects, and
consisting of the following:
   (a) Three representatives of outreach programs, representing the
University of California, the California State University, and the
California Community Colleges, appointed by their respective
governing boards.
   (b) One representative of private colleges and universities,
appointed by the Association of California Independent Colleges and
   (c) One representative of the California Postsecondary Education
Commission, appointed by the commission.
   (d) Two secondary school staff, appointed by the Superintendent of
Public Instruction.
   (e) Two persons representing the general public, one appointed by
the Speaker of the Assembly and the other by the Senate Rules
   (f) Two postsecondary students, both appointed annually by the
California Postsecondary Education Commission.
   (g) One college campus financial aid officer, appointed by the
69563.  The California Postsecondary Education Commission shall
periodically review and evaluate the Student Opportunity and Access
Program as part of the commission's regular assessment of student
academic development programs in the state.  The commission shall
include in the evaluation an assessment of the admission, progress,
retention, and graduation of program participants from postsecondary
69564.  Allocation of any funds appropriated for purposes of this
article shall be limited to those consortia meeting requirements of
this article who will provide equal matching resources from existing
or budgeted increases in federal, state, local, and private funds.
It shall be the goal of the program that the total resources provided
by the Student Opportunity and Access Program shall match state
funding on at least a 1.5 to 1 ratio.  Any new projects approved
through expansion of the program shall provide equal matching
resources for the first three years of operation and shall be
encouraged to increase the matching resources to a 1.5 to 1 ratio
with the state grant thereafter.
69565.  The initial grant for a proposed new project in an area that
has demonstrated need for services provided by the Student
Opportunity and Access Program may be utilized for planning and
development.  Full project grant funding shall be allocated when the
consortium meets the criteria established in Section 69561.
69566.  It is the intent of the Legislature that funding for the
purposes of this article be appropriated in the annual Budget Act.

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