What happens to our valley’s college bound students?

Denise Cabanilla, Director of Gear Up, reported to the BUHSD board


BRAWLEY – During the last BUHSD board meeting an update was given on the Imperial County P-16 Council and College Going Initiative. This council is a collaborative of educators and business people to move valley students toward being either college or career ready upon high school graduation.

The Council looks  hard at data and one disturbing trend has been the college graduation rates of local students.

There is a good enrollment rate in Imperial County, over 70% students enroll in colleges, but only 14% attain a college degree.

What happens to them?

According to the data, students take test to place into math and English. However, they do not place at college-level. They are then put into preparation and remedial courses prior to enrollment. Those courses add time and money onto the students.  Many times this leads them into not completing their studies.

Denise Cabanilla, Director of Gear Up said, “ That is an area of focus we are heavily looking at with regard to our college going initiative. We are not nearly where we want to be. And when we say college, we mean two-year, four-year, and technical schools.”


The council offers college application help, they bring college representatives to the students twice a year, once for the juniors and once for the seniors.


“Last year we had over 30 representatives from different colleges,” Cabanilla told the board.


She also explained how they begin encouraging kindergarten students by taking them on a field trip to San Diego State University at Calexico. “One of the side benefits,” Cabanilla said, “one of the student’s parents became excited about going back to college and completing her degree.”