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ALPHA Center at UCR Packed With Summer Programs

ALPHA Center at UCR Packed With Summer Programs

(June 21, 2001)

School may be out, but that doesn't mean learning has stopped for inland middle and high school students and teachers involved in more than 30 summer programs offered through the ALPHA Center at the University of California, Riverside.
About half the programs are geared primarily to hone students' skills. Two newer, innovative, programs in the Riverside and Desert Sands unified school districts focus on sharpening mathematics skills for girls entering middle school. Girls Excelling in Mathematics with Success (GEMS) academies are scheduled June 25-29 at Gage Middle School in Riverside, and Aug. 6-10 at La Quinta Middle School.

A program matching mathematics with physical conditioning, designed for boys ages 14 to 16, is scheduled for July 23-27 at UCR. Participants must be willing to do hands-on geometry activities, as well as cardiovascular and strength training. Another similar program designed for both boys and girls is Project WISE (Wisdom Integrating Sports and Education), scheduled June 25-29 at UCR.

Also offered are teacher-improvement programs, such as Writing Toward College, designed to improve how writing is taught to middle and high school students; and the Math Academy for Teaching Excellence, an intensive, yearlong program linking the needs of 4th- through 12th-grade mathematics teachers with the resources of the university.

Other programs help students and teachers in areas such as history, anthropology and archeological research, science, language, and the arts.

Since its beginnings in 1998, the ALPHA Center's guiding principals have been to increase the historically low rate of high school graduates who qualified for college, and to ensure their success once enrolled. In 1998, one in three Inland Empire high school students qualified for college, well below the 60 percent statewide standard.

The center's formation was the initiative of UCR Executive Vice Chancellor, David Warren, with National Academy of Science member Noel T. Keen, and associate deans Rodney Ogawa of the Graduate School of Education and Al Lewis of the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management.

With $2.1 million from the UC Office of the President, ALPHA Center director Pamela Clute set to work forging relationships with school districts, businesses, nonprofit groups, parents and students. ALPHA Center staff took a three-pronged approach - to assist students who need help getting into or excelling in college, to train teachers to better master their subjects, and to research how students learn and which teaching methods are most effective.

Today, the ALPHA Center's major financial backer is the UC Office of the President. State and federal grants; UCR; and contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations also help the center work with 57 school districts in Riverside, San Bernardino and eastern Los Angeles counties.

More information about the ALPHA Center's summer roster of programs can be obtained by calling Clute at (909) 787-5425 or by going to the ALPHA Center web site at and clicking on the Summer Initiatives 2001 button.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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