CSUSB Receives Grant to Support Growing Inland Achievement Initiative

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Cal State San Bernardino recently received a $300,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation to support the continued organizational capacity, building and sustainability of Growing Inland Achievement (GIA), a bi-county collective impact effort in the Inland Empire whose mission is to improve the long-term economic outlook of the region through improving educational attainment rates.

“Although the Inland Empire is one of the most populated regions, baccalaureate degree attainment remains low,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, who is a founding member of GIA and currently sits on the GIA governing board. “GIA was created to raise these numbers and help students realize a successful future. CSUSB is proud to support this significant initiative that was designed to make a lasting impact on all those who reside and work in the Inland Empire.”

“The Irvine Foundation grant is an incredible gift to the Inland Empire’s education network of which GIA is a part,” said Carlos Ayala, president and CEO of GIA. “The grant deepens both synergy and alignment within our network, and strengthens two of our strategies to transform the region. First, it improves our effort to build regional data capacity for continuous program improvement. Second, it boosts our ability to research and uncover additional funds to support our network.”

The James Irvine Foundation initially awarded $300,000 to CSUSB in 2017 to develop GIA’s data platform and create a data mindset within the region, as well as expand staffing in order to achieve greater sustainability for the organization.

With the new grant, GIA hopes to dive deeper into the region’s story with more detailed and expanded data collection and analysis, and increase outreach to foundation and corporate donors to support the region’s vision. The goals are to support the next phase of GIA’s organizational structure, including expanding its network of institutions, and support the development of a long-term business model in order to support expansive systems change among postsecondary education in the Inland Empire.

“We are grateful to The Irvine Foundation for bolstering our network’s pursuit to increase educational and economic success for students in the region,” Ayala said.

About Growing Inland Achievement
In 2015, area education leaders, including CSUSB President Morales, recognized that Inland Empire educational institutions needed to work collaboratively if they wished to make lasting and meaningful improvements to the low educational achievement of the region. These leaders created Growing Inland Achievement, a cross-sector collective impact collaborative whose mission is to improve the long-term economic outlook of the Inland Empire through improving educational attainment rates. This mission is achieved through a shared vision and intentional collaboration of 18 educational institutions, with participation from more than 120 organizations working together to align resources and address the regional inequity in educational and economic success.

Through a $5 million Governor’s Innovation Award in Higher Education that was secured by CSUSB — in partnership with University of California, Riverside; Inland Empire Economic Partnership; One Future Coachella Valley; San Bernardino and Riverside County superintendents; and other stakeholders on behalf of the region — GIA works to align educational policy initiatives regionally via a cradle-to-career collective impact model.

GIA supports this vast network, strengthening linkages within the network, providing logistical support, and connecting the network to regional and national expertise.

Visit the Growing Inland Achievement website to learn more about the organization and its mission

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