Some thing impressive is about to occur at Gateway Group College in Camarillo, which serves college students who have faced a rocky road on their large university journey. Some have been expelled from their standard superior educational facilities, and others have experienced operate-ins with the legislation. All of them have faced sizeable hurdles as they function toward earning their higher school diplomas.

Usually, many of the college students in Gateway’s senior course fail to fulfill the requirements for graduation. But this yr, almost all 21 of them will acquire their diplomas and have programs to enroll in college or enter the workforce. Matters could very easily have turned out in a different way for these college students if they had been incarcerated for their offenses relatively than supplied the guidance they desired to convert their lives around.

Obtaining these students across the complete line took the involvement of caring experts from the Ventura County Business office of Schooling, which operates Gateway, and our partners at Ventura County Behavioral Health and the Ventura County Probation Agency. They built the relationships and designed the connections with pupils and people vital to conquer the road blocks that can quickly derail the goal of graduating.

Numerous of the learners have to hold down positions to assist their households and will have to juggle the calls for of both university and do the job. Some of them are mom and dad who wrestle to uncover childcare so they can show up at class. When educational facilities had been closed to in-man or woman mastering owing to the pandemic, they missed out on important assist and steerage that could not be duplicated on the net.

When students returned to Gateway in individual, the employees redoubled their efforts to make up for dropped time. They greater the chances for students to get well missed credits. They were being in constant interaction with learners and mothers and fathers to enhance attendance and track progress. And they partnered with Oxnard Faculty to tour the campus and assist college students with the admissions method. The pupils also stepped up to the plate by coming to class, trying to keep appointments with counselors, and catching up with schoolwork on evenings and weekends.

While we’re celebrating the improve in Gateway’s graduation fee, we’re enthusiastic to see a different statistic on the decline. The Ventura County Place of work of Education and learning also operates Providence Faculty, which is found within the Ventura County Juvenile Justice Facility in El Rio. For decades, the range of students at Providence has been dropping as teens are progressively diverted to locations like Gateway alternatively of placing them at the rear of bars. It is a shift in priorities that is having to pay real dividends, as we can see with this year’s Gateway graduating class.

In a few months, they will proudly wander throughout the stage in caps and robes to obtain their tough-acquired diplomas. Although significant college graduation is a given for a lot of little ones, it’s very a bit extra for these students. It’s proof that the mistakes they’ve built in the past really don’t have to outline their foreseeable future. It is a testomony to the very good that can come when general public businesses collaborate in the finest interest of college students who will need further enable. And it’s a reminder that the will to make improvements to, mature, and succeed is alive and properly in all of us.

Dr. Cesar Morales

Dr. César Morales is the Ventura County Superintendent of Colleges.

This posting originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Guest column: Education and learning vs. incarceration for troubled teens

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