Family Engagement Institute
Message from the Executive Director
As funders, policy makers, educators, families, students and community leaders, we can all agree that the well-being of our society is directly connected to the health and well-being of our children and youth. We must also realize that we live in a “Tale of Two School Systems” whereby too many children and youth are being left behind.
As we celebrate our 10th year, FEI continues its commitment to reimagine our educational system to best serve all of California’s future generations. We need leadership and courage to step up and be responsive, agile and innovative. Students, families, educators and communities – in partnership – must co-design programs and policies that work to ensure a shared vision of equity towards an inclusive, diverse and thriving society.
Justice for all – it’s not only right, it’s smart!
- California is home to 9,159,878 children (Ages 0-to-17).
- 4,195,000 are from immigrant families.
- 1,195,998 are english learners in K-12 schools.
- 43% are low-income.
- 58% of all students are not well prepared for college, with specific groups less likely to be ready for college due to structural racism, unstable living situations, and other barriers.
Source: Children Now Report Card 2020
- 75,000 undocumented young people (Ages 18-to-32) in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
- Undocumented youth are almost four times more likely than other youth to not complete high school.
- Nearly one-third of undocumented youth, compared to nearly two-thirds of other youth, have some college education.
Source: “Undocumented youth: What statistics tell us,” Almanac
Urgency Leads to Opportunity
The Family Engagement Institute (FEI) was founded in 2010 in partnership with Foothill College to promote college-going identities and aspirations for first-generation students – first in the family –and multigenerational pathways to college through educational opportunities for underserved children, youth, and families. Over nearly a decade, FEI has successfully focused on building capacity of families, schools and communities to collectively ensure student success through equity and access to quality education at every stage of development and to elevate the voice of marginalized communities. FEI serves as a college bridge program where families and educators together build the skills, tools, and agency to successfully navigate educational systems that promote family engagement, school and workforce readiness, and pathways to postsecondary education.
Through innovation and commitment, FEI has delivered culturally responsive dual capacity youth, family and community engagement programs. We have enrolled more than 8000 parents/caregivers in college bridge courses; provided professional development to over 1700 educators; prepared more than 950 children to be school-ready; and mentored over 400 first generation college bound youth.
FEI received the distinguished Foundation for California Community Colleges, 2016 John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award, in recognition of our leadership in responding, developing and delivering equity minded programs of excellence. FEI is uniquely positioned in a CA Community College – an open access public institution of higher learning. The CA Community College System of 115 Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation (2.1 million students).