The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has awarded a $1.15 million grant to California State University, East Bay, in support of the university’s Gateways Partnership, a regional “cradle to career education and workforce” alliance, established to improve skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) of Bay Area students from pre-school through college.
The Gateways Partnership – composed of more than 30 partners from business, education, civic, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations focused on children in preschool through college – has as its mission to “create a world-class system of education that ensures every student will succeed in 21st century careers.”
“This grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation goes a long way towards ensuring that our partnership is successful,” said Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president of Cal State East Bay, who co-chairs the Gateways executive committee with Matt Lonner, manager of global partnerships programs for Chevron. “For a growing and stable economy now and into the future, we must have a technically skilled and well-educated workforce to meet the needs of regional business and industry in order to ensure the economic and social vibrancy of the communities we serve.”
The research-based partnership was established in 2009 when Cal State East Bay was selected to head up one of four demonstration sites nationwide by the Living Cities consortium in collaboration with the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and STRIVE, a model program in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. It was convened as part of the university’s regional stewardship program.
The Gateway Partnership seeks to improve student success in math and science in each year of schooling. The aim is to develop a robust “cradle-to-career” pipeline of students and graduates to fill the workforce needs of the region.
As part of its mission, the Gateways Partnership is working closely with the California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) to share best practices, outcomes and lessons learned with other regions across the state that are undertaking related efforts as part of the network. CSLNet is a nonprofit organization established to increase California students’ interests and competencies in STEM disciplines – with an emphasis on critical thinking, innovation, and use of information technologies.
“Gateways strongly supports CSLNet’s design principles, theory of change and action, and ‘lifecycle’ approach, and is committed to provide leadership in a number of its statewide initiatives,” said Emily Brizendine, director of the Gateways Partnership and executive director of Cal State East Bay’s Concord Campus.