Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 3:28 am | Fair 42º


CSU Channel Islands Receives Two Federal Grants Totaling $6 Million

Its designation as an Hispanic Serving Institution makes it eligible for additional funding

When CSU Channel Islands was designated an Hispanic Serving Institution last spring, it became eligible to receive additional federal grants to support its programs. The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded two grants to CI, only one of three four-year colleges in California to receive both a Strengthening Institutions — Hispanic Serving Institutions grant ($3,186,035 over five years) and Promoting Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans grant ($2,824,495 over five years).

“We are extremely pleased to receive these significant grant awards — a testament to our commitment to provide meaningful access for all CI students as well as for elementary, middle, high school and community college students throughout Ventura County,” President Richard Rush said. “Encouraging a college-going culture in the county will provide a strong workforce for our future.”

The Strengthening Institutions — Hispanic Serving Institutions Program part of the U.S. Department of Education is striving to meet President Barack Obama’s educational goal of having the highest college graduation rate in the world by 2020. The SI-HSI Program expands educational opportunities and improves educational attainment for students at HSIs. The PPOHA Program supports institutions that offer a post-baccalaureate certificate or degree to help under-represented and low-income students enroll and succeed in graduate study.

CI was one of 30 institutions in California and 78 institutions nationwide to receive the SI-HSI award. Ventura College and SBCC also received SI-HSI awards.

The SI-HSI award lets CI expand and enhance academic offerings. This grant will fund Project ISLAS (Institutionalizing Student Learning, Access and Success), which will benefit all CI students by developing and promoting a university-going culture in the region that addresses barriers to higher education for historically underrepresented students in universities.

Project ISLAS focuses on helping students get in to college and get through college. Specifically, it will focus on creating university readiness in Hispanic elementary, middle school, high school and community college students of Ventura County. Once these students become part of the CI community, they will take part in a University Experience Program to enhance student retention. This program will include first-year and transition-year seminars and learning communities to enhance student outcomes, plus provide training for faculty and staff to help them best serve this student population. The grant also assesses student learning outcomes at the course level and program level through the development of an e-portfolio system.

CI was one of five institutions in California and 21 nationwide to receive the PPOHA award. CI will use the grant to fund Project VISTA (Vistas del Futuro), which will be applied to expand CI’s Hispanic participation in post-baccalaureate programs, and to build additional professional and community partnerships designed to strengthen graduate programs and promote student success. CI will also use grant funds to provide financial aid for Hispanic and low-income students in post-baccalaureate programs at CI, as well as to promote greater access by expanding distance learning.

“Access to a higher education leads to access to a higher socio-economic status. These grants awarded to CSU Channel Islands will help bridge the gap for Hispanic students between a K-12 education and a college education,” said Dr. Ramon Flores, president of the Ventura County Board of Education. “They will allow Hispanic students to become more productive members of our society.”

Click here for more information about CI’s HSI programs.

— Robin Horne represents CSU Channel Islands.

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