(1) There is established a college reach-out program to increase the number of low-income educationally disadvantaged students in grades 6-12 who, upon high school graduation, are admitted to and successfully complete postsecondary education. Participants should be students who otherwise would be unlikely to seek admission to a 1community college, state university, or independent postsecondary institution without special support and recruitment efforts. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that provide for the following:
(a) Definition of “low-income educationally disadvantaged student.”
(b) Specific criteria and guidelines for selection of college reach-out participants.
(2) In developing the definition for “low-income educationally disadvantaged student,” the State Board of Education shall include such factors as: the family’s taxable income; family receipt of temporary cash assistance in the preceding year; family receipt of public assistance in the preceding year; the student’s cumulative grade point average; the student’s promotion and attendance patterns; the student’s performance on state standardized tests; the student’s enrollment in mathematics and science courses; and the student’s participation in a dropout prevention program.
(3) To participate in the college reach-out program, a postsecondary educational institution may submit a proposal to the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall consider the proposals and determine which proposals to implement as programs that will strengthen the educational motivation and preparation of low-income educationally disadvantaged students.
(4) Postsecondary educational institutions that participate in the program must provide procedures for continuous contact with students from the point at which they are selected for participation until they enroll in a postsecondary educational institution. These procedures must assist students in selecting courses required for graduation from high school and admission to a postsecondary educational institution and ensure that students continue to participate in program activities. Institutions that participate must provide on-campus academic and advisory activities during summer vacation and provide opportunities for interacting with college and university students as mentors, tutors, or role models. Proposals submitted by universities and consortia involving universities must provide students with an opportunity to live on campus.
(5) In selecting proposals for approval, the State Board of Education shall give preference to:
(a) Proposals submitted jointly by two or more eligible postsecondary educational institutions.
(b) A program that will use institutional, federal, or private resources to supplement state appropriations.
(c) An applicant that has demonstrated success in conducting similar programs.
(d) A program that includes innovative approaches, provides a great variety of activities, and includes a large percentage of low-income educationally disadvantaged minority students in the college reach-out program.
(e) An applicant that demonstrates commitment to the program by proposing to match the grant funds at least one-to-one in cash or services, with cash being the preferred match.
(f) An applicant that demonstrates an interest in cultural diversity and that addresses the unmet regional needs of varying communities.
(6) A participating postsecondary educational institution is encouraged to use its resources to meet program objectives. A participating postsecondary educational institution must establish an advisory committee composed of high school and middle school personnel, as well as community leaders, to provide advice and assistance in implementing its program.
(7) A proposal must contain the following information:
(a) A statement of purpose that includes a description of the need for, and the results expected from, the proposed program.
(b) An identification of the service area that names the schools to be served, provides community and school demographics, and sets forth the postsecondary enrollment rates of high school graduates within the area.
(c) An identification of existing programs for enhancing the academic performance of minority and low-income educationally disadvantaged students for enrollment in postsecondary education.
(d) A description of the proposed program that describes criteria to be used to identify schools for participation in the program. At least 60 percent of the students recruited in any one year must be in grades 6-9.
(e) A description of the program activities that must support the following goals:
1. Motivate students to pursue a postsecondary education.
2. Enhance students’ basic learning skills and performance.
3. Strengthen students’ and parents’ understanding of the benefits of postsecondary education.
4. Foster academic, personal, and career development through supplemental instruction.
(f) An evaluation component that provides for the collection, maintenance, retrieval, and analysis of the data required by this paragraph. The data must be used to assess the extent to which programs have accomplished specific objectives and achieved the goals of the college reach-out program. The Department of Education shall develop specifications and procedures for the collection and transmission of the data. The annual project evaluation component must contain:
1. The student identification number and social security number, if available; the name of the public school attended; gender; ethnicity; grade level; and grade point average of each participant at the time of entry into the program.
2. The grade point average, grade, and promotion status of each of the participants in the program at the end of the academic year and any suspension or expulsion of a participant, if applicable.
3. The number and percentage of high school participants who satisfactorily complete 2 sequential years of a foreign language and Level 2 and 3 mathematics and science courses.
4. The number and percentage of participants eligible for high school graduation who receive a standard high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma, pursuant to s. 1003.435.
5. The number and percentage of 12th grade participants who are accepted for enrollment and who enroll in a postsecondary educational institution.
6. The number of participants who receive scholarships, grant aid, and work-study awards.
7. The number and percentage of participants who enroll in a public postsecondary educational institution and who fail to achieve a passing score, as defined in State Board of Education rule, on college placement tests pursuant to s. 1008.30.
8. The number and percentage of participants who enroll in a postsecondary educational institution and have a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale by the end of the second semester.
9. The number of disabled students participating in the project and the nature of their disabilities.
(8) Proposals must be funded competitively in accordance with the following methodology: (a) The funds appropriated must be distributed to projects on the basis of minimum standards that include:
1. A summer residency program of at least 1 week in duration.
2. A minimum number of hours of academic instructional and developmental activities, career counseling, and personal counseling.
(b) Subject to legislative appropriations, continuation projects that satisfy the minimum requirements should have their funds increased each year by the same percentage as the rate of inflation. Projects funded for 3 consecutive years should have a cumulative institutional cash match of not less than 50 percent of the total cost of the project over the 3-year period. Any college reach-out program project operating for 3 years which does not provide the minimum 50-percent institutional cash match must not be considered for continued funding.
(9) The Commissioner of Education shall appoint an advisory council to review the proposals and recommend to the State Board of Education an order of priority for funding the proposals.
(10) On or before February 15 of each year, each participating institution shall submit to the Department of Education an interim report containing program expenditures and participant information as required in State Board of Education rules.
(11) On or before November 1 of each year, postsecondary educational institutions participating in the program shall submit to the Department of Education an end-of-the-year report on the effectiveness of their participation in the program. The end-of-the-year report must include, without limitation:
(a) A copy of the certificate-of-expenditures form showing expenditures by category, state grant funds, and institutional matching in cash and in-kind services.
(b) A listing of students participating in the program by grade level, gender, and race.
(c) A statement of how the program addresses the four program goals identified in paragraph (7)(e).
(d) A brief description and analysis of program characteristics and activities critical to program success.
(e) A description of the cooperation received from other units or organizations.
(f) An explanation of the program’s outcomes, including data related to student performance on the measures provided for in paragraph (7)(f).
(12) By February 15 of each year, the Department of Education shall submit to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Commissioner of Education, and the Governor a report that evaluates the effectiveness of the college reach-out program. To the extent feasible, the performance of college reach-out program participants must be compared to the performance of comparable cohorts of students in public school and postsecondary education.
(13) Funding for the college reach-out program shall be provided in the General Appropriations Act.