UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland presides over the University of California’s newest, smallest and most diverse campus. More than half of her 8,000 students are low-income and underrepresented minorities; nearly three-fourths are the first in their families to attend college. This year, in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of public universities, those students helped the campus climb 18 spots, to No. 2, for surpassing expected graduation rates. Leland recently spoke…

When Matthew Rodrigues grows up, he wants to attend college to become a nurse or a doctor. “I think going to college is very important in life,” said Rodrigues, a sixth-grade student at Jefferson Elementary School in Dinuba. Friday morning, Rodrigues and 1,600 other sixth-graders got a taste of what it will take to achieve their career goals at Reedley College’s second annual Central Valley Promise event. Tour of Reedley College Campus To…

People who have a higher level of education typically have greater potential for earning higher incomes. But a new report details the lack of opportunities for college degrees for some students in California’s schools. The study by the Public Policy Institute of California reinforces what economic development and educational leaders have long described: that areas such as the central San Joaquin Valley, where educational attainment levels are lower than most of the state,…