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The San Diego County Office of Education recently announced it received a $3 million grant to improve college and career readiness achievement for Native American students in elementary and secondary education

The five-year Indian Education Discretionary Grant was awarded through the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), U.S. Department of Education, Native American Youth Community Project, to support its Native Scholars Pathway program. 

According to the county, the Native Scholars Pathway is a community-driven, comprehensive project to help K-12 American Indian and Alaskan Native students in San Diego County to become college- and career-ready. 

The grant will provide students access to early college courses, Career Exploration, internship opportunities, and hands-on experience designing and teaching indigenized STEAM MakerSpaces. The grant will create opportunities for college credit to count toward a future degree, and resources to know where and how to pursue a degree in education. 

“In our effort for equity across the county, it is important that we make a concerted effort to reach and support our most underserved students,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “Our Native American and Indigenous students have been left behind, but this collaborative effort will help put them on a meaningful and self-sustaining path to college and career.” 

The county said this grant may impact approximately 700 students annually. The county said it would seek feedback from San Diego County tribal communities, including families and students, to meet the unique challenges presented to the education systems to heal from the impacts of COVID-19; improve college and career pathways; and expand quality, culturally responsive place-based teaching. 

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