Dayton, Montgomery County and Sinclair Linking Services to Improve Graduation Rates

Part of a national effort to study new collaboration models

DAYTON, Ohio (11/09/09) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National League of Cities today announced that Dayton is one of seven communities awarded a grant to boost college graduation rates by improving coordination between colleges, schools and cities.

The $250,000 grant is part of a National League of Cities initiative to help officials explore new and better ways in which they can work together to streamline services to low-income young adults attending Sinclair Community College.

"Preparing and connecting our young adults to living wage careers is key to their future success, and to the sustainability and health of the Dayton community," said Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin. "We are committed to working together to develop the supports needed by our young people to not just attend college, but to succeed academically and to graduate."
The grants announced today will support nine-month collaborative planning efforts in each of the seven cities. The Gates Foundation is considering investing additional money, in 2010, to support the implementation and expansion of the most promising ideas that result from this planning.

The Dayton planning team will use the grant to strengthen partnerships, services, education, training, and data systems to assist low-income youth (ages 16-26) earn post-secondary credentials. Led by Sinclair Community College in collaboration with the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, and Dayton Public Schools, the planning process will build upon existing, strong cross-functional collaborations and past successes with disaffected youth.

"Dayton's selection in the Communities Learning in Partnership grant program is a clear endorsement of our ability to collaborate," said Dr. Steve Johnson, president of Sinclair. "Our region has an incredible history of partnership that we believe is the answer for insuring our youth get the education they need to be our future leaders."

Dayton’s project is unique among the other participating cities in its involvement of Montgomery County. A large contingent of local school districts, community-based organizations, industry representatives, local foundations, and four-year universities will support the project.

The other community colleges and city agencies that received today’s grants include Florida State College at Jacksonville; Mesa Commun ity College in Mesa, AZ; City of Phoenix, AZ; Research Foundation of the City University of New York; Riverside (CA) City College; and Interagency Council on Youth, City and County of San Francisco.

Natasha Baker, APR
Director of College Communications
P 937/512-2221
M 937/231-4957