September 29, 2010
PITTSBURG: Los Medanos College (LMC) has received notice from Congressman George Miller’s office that the college has been awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant to support student transfers to 4-year colleges and universities. The grant is funded through the Title V - Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Grant Program, the intent of which is to “serve Hispanic and low-income students by building institutional capacity.”
The grant will focus on the gap between the number of students who plan to transfer when they begin their college career at LMC, and the number of students who actually complete the transfer process successfully. The comprehensive initiative entitled “ÉXITO” will bridge the gap and create systemic change at LMC in which transfer is a high institutional priority, with the result and increase in the number of Hispanic and other low-income students who transfer to four-year institutions.
Program components include high school readiness for college, transfer readiness, and institutional readiness, assessment and professional development. High School Readiness for College focuses on outreach and orientation, and will create customized new student orientations, bilingual community and school partnerships, and a Welcome Center. Transfer Readiness will create the ÉXITO Transfer Center and Programs, coordination and scale up of existing LMC Learning Communities, and will house the Transfer Academia, integrating academic, support services and engagement opportunities for Hispanic and low-income transfer students. Finally, Institutional Readiness, Assessment and Professional Development in which the college will create and sustain a college-wide assessment and transfer culture to support informed, data-driven and equity-focused decisions with its focus on student learning and improved outcomes for students.
This is the second five-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) grant that Los Medanos College has received. The focus of the first grant was to increase the number of enrollments, especially Latino, at LMC; increase persistence of first-year freshmen from the 1st to 2nd semester; increase the number of Latino students who transfer and/or receive certificates; and to increase the number of students in ESL classes. This first grant is now coming to conclusion on September 30, 2010 and significant strides have been taken to get and maintain Hispanic student enrollments at the East Contra Costa County campus.
“We have learned many things during the five years we have been implementing our first HSI grant,” stated Ruth Goodin, LMC’s Senior Foundation Director. “Our plan is to build on that knowledge and experience to continue to focus our efforts on student success through transfer to four-year institutions.”
“Exciting things have been happening at our college and expectations are high,” Goodin continued. “We have new science and math buildings along with a new library. We have actually hired faculty when other colleges are cutting back. Opportunities for student success have increased with the addition of MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement program), ACE (Academy for College Excellence), AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination transfer preparation program), PUENTE (supporting underrepresented students) , Umoja Scholars (supporting 1st generation college students, especially African American), and the college’s well-established and successful Honors program. We need to continue to improve our own skill set and support system to see our students through to successful transfer. The future is looking bright for our students and the East County community.”
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