Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Expand Access to College for Millions of Students

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Obtaining a quality education is one of the key social determinants of health. In recent years, Latinos have made great strides in educational achievement.

The dropout rate for Latinos is at an all-time low, while high school graduation rates are at all-time highs. More Latinos are enrolling in two- and four-year universities and more are obtaining college degrees than ever before.

Despite all of the good, there is still a significant gap between Latinos and their peers.

A new initiative by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and The College Board look to help close this significantly close this gap. A new two-year partnership between the organizations looks to expand access to “unique personalized learning pathways” to help lower-income and rural area students prepare for key “college gateway tasks” such as the PSAT, SAT and Advanced Placement courses.

The partnership will underwrite research on student motivation and achievement.


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“[The partnership with CZI] would move the field forward and ongoing research [on this] topic would be ‘a Manhattan Project’ on academic motivation,” said College Board President and CEO David Coleman.

The collaboration will also fund expansion of “near-peer advisers” in high schools. This program brings young people (either recent graduates or currently enrolled college students) to supplement schools’ counseling staffs.

Founded by Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, CZI was created to give away 99% of their Facebook shares worth $45 billion. The initiative focuses on four broad areas: curing disease through preventative research, supporting entrepreneurship, spreading access to education, and empowering all people to use their talents.

“The only way that we reach our full human potential is if we are able to unlock the gifts of every person around the world,” the duo said in an interview with USA Today.

This is not Zucerberg’s first attempt at assisting education; in 2010, he gave $100 million to the troubled Newark, NJ (35.63% Latino population) public school system.

Read more about this story here.

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