The United States Department of Education has awarded San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) a five-year cooperative grant with CSU San Bernardino of more than $950,000 per year under the same program. Crafton Hills College (CHC) was also awarded a five-year STEM grant of $870,000 per year.
The STEM grants, awarded through the Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) program, are designed to develop and carry out activities to improve and expand the institution’s capacity to serve Hispanic students and through grant implementation, benefit all students in many ways, including increased student enrollment, graduation and transfer rates. A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is defined as a non-profit institution that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent enrollment. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics studies.
The SBVC award includes $1.65 million for CSU San Bernardino over the five year period. The two institutions have created a cooperative PASS GO bridge project focused on STEM degree completion for Hispanic and other minority students, and the development of model articulation and transfer agreements between two and four year HSI institutions. In addition, SBVC will establish and expand their learning communities, including one for veterans, all with a core component of developmental education in math; enhance academic and career support services, including tutoring, STEM internships, and supplemental instruction; augment faculty professional development, and develop additional outreach activities for incoming students and their families.
“The Inland Empire’s scientists and engineers of tomorrow are in our classrooms right now. This grant will go a long way towards helping them be successful in their journey—both here at SBVC, and as they transfer to California State University, San Bernardino,” said SBVC President Dr. Debra Daniels. “Our diverse student population at SBVC will benefit from the expansion of existing programs and development of new strategies to focus on student success in these areas.”
The grant period begins October 1, 2011, and is considered for renewal annually. According to the information supplied by each college to the Department of Education with their applications, the schools have slightly different visions for the utilization of the funds, but both will focus on transfer pathways and data-driven decision making.
San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD) Chancellor Bruce Baron noted, “These grants will support so many of our major goals: by improving science and technology education at the community colleges, transfer rates to four-year colleges, and completion rates of certificates that lead to employment opportunities. Ultimately, these grants will help us build a stronger community because we will be preparing individuals better able to contribute to the economy, support local business and industry, and enhance our ability to be competitive in the global marketplace.”
CHC will more fully support the success of Hispanic and other low-income students through the creation of clear pathways through which they can attain degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The college will develop model STEM articulation agreements between CHC, which is a two-year HSI, and four-year institutions. They will be hiring a STEM Transfer Services Coordinator, connecting students with existing articulated courses and assisting the CHC Articulation Officer in developing additional agreements. A STEM Research Analyst will provide additional support for the Office of Research and Planning.
According to Gloria Macías Harrison, president of CHC, “The Crafton Hills enrollment is 32% Hispanic. We are excited to have the opportunity to assist a specific portion of our student body while simultaneously serving our entire student body through the expansion of our STEM transfer agreements and STEM research support, and by providing updated courses, programs, equipment and professional development that will allow CHC to become a leading STEM institution among two-year HSIs in the Inland Empire. This grant focuses on our mission and vision for Crafton Hills - to be the premier community college for public safety and health services careers and transfer preparation.”
Carleton W. Lockwood, Jr., President of the SBCCD Board of Trustees, said, “These STEM awards give Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College even greater opportunities to better serve all students, but in particular Latino students, by increasing the variety of services offered. This will greatly enhance the chances of success in higher education for Latino, first generation, and low income students.”
Both institutions are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. CHC offers more than 35 degree programs and 30 certificate options, providing a variety of educational paths for both transfer and career preparation, and currently serves about 5,500 students per semester. Now celebrating its 85th anniversary, SBVC’s mission is to provide quality education and services that support a diverse community of learners—featuring transfer pathways and 86 certificate and 58 degree programs. SBVC currently serves more than 12,000 students per semester.