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OMSI awarded $54,143 grant to increase college access

Contact: Di Saunders, OUS – Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869
Source: Stephanie Carnahan, CACGP Program Director – Office: 541-346-5761; Cell: 541-359-6755

Portland, OR, October 21, 2010 – The State of Oregon announced last week that it has awarded a $54,143 grant to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s (OMSI) Salmon Camp project to inspire Native American youth to pursue secondary education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Funded through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education received by Oregon in August, OMSI’s award is part of the College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) which awarded grants to 12 pre-college preparation programs across the state for a total of $607,000 in support.

OMSI’s Salmon Camp project will be implemented with the help of partner organizations, with the goal of engaging Native American youth in STEM study by combining hands-on scientific field research with Native American traditions and knowledge. To achieve this goal, the project will increase the number of Native students reached; will develop math activities aligned with Oregon standards and integrated into program experiences; and will hire a Salmon Education Coordinator. In addition, partner organization Education Northwest will rigorously evaluate the projects impacts and provide suggested program adjustments.

Travis Southworth-Neumeyer, director of outdoor science education at OMSI, said, “This generous grant offers an exciting opportunity to strengthen the OMSI-CRITFC partnership and will help support youth and their families as they build capacity in their communities.”

OMSI will partner with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and Education Northwest to deliver the programming to students. Besides the $54,143 provided by the grant, OMSI and CRITFC will be providing an additional $40,618 in matching funds to run the program.

Stephanie Carnahan, director of college access programs for the Oregon University System, said, “There is a great need in Oregon for pre-college programs that help students and families understand how to access college in a comprehensive way, from academic preparation to understanding how financial aid works. Salmon Camp is a great example of the type of support that all Oregon students need in order to ensure that they can access college and be academically and otherwise prepared to succeed in their education and career goals.”

The College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) is a formula grant program that is designed to foster partnerships among Federal, State and local government entities and philanthropic organizations to significantly increase the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education. CACGP provides two-year grants to States to meet the needs of underrepresented students and families. In Oregon, all education sectors and the Governor’s Office are involved in the CACGP, and the Oregon University System is the fiscal agent for the grant.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services, and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.

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