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Thursday, January 24 , 2019, 1:56 am | Fair 42º


Allan Hancock College Awarded $2.3 Million Grant to Enhance Student Success, Advancement

A seamless transition from noncredit to credit classes, as well as increased graduation and transfer rates for all students, is a major focus of a new $2.3 million, five-year federal grant recently awarded to Allan Hancock College.

Called AIM (Advance, Innovate, Maintain), the grant program, funded by the federal government’s Hispanic Serving Institutions Title V program, will focus on two major areas: increasing basic skills and English as a Second Language (ESL) student success and advancement, and developing a strategic approach to college-wide resource development to ensure ongoing support for underserved students in every mission-critical area.

“This award comes at a perfect time for Allan Hancock College, our students, and this region,” said Kevin Walthers, Ph.D., Allan Hancock College superintendent/president. “It will allow us to devote significant resources to streamlining the pathway from basic skills to transfer level courses. It will also allow us to integrate the college’s resource development components to ensure support for underserved students and change the odds of them meeting their educational goals. We want high school students and the community to know that choosing Allan Hancock College to begin their postsecondary education will prepare them to succeed in college and career throughout their lifetime.

“As the only point of access to public postsecondary education in northern Santa Barbara County, AHC has a responsibility to ensure students are prepared to pursue technical and professional careers and have the resources to do so.”

According to the grant project director Nancy Meddings, a major part of the grant over the next five years will be an emphasis on faculty innovation, specifically new approaches like flipped classrooms and piloting remedial courses online, as well as creating faculty workgroups called faculty inquiry groups (FIGs) to share best practices and most effective strategies. Professional develop training will include experts on accelerating remedial students.

In addition, the college will create a 24/7 virtual success center focused on basic skills students. The online support system will pull together student services and academic support especially for remedial-level students. This will include open educational resources, advising and other aids to success.

Suzanne Valery, Ed.D., the college’s institutional grants director, will be focusing on activity two of the grant, which is a push for integrated resource development to ultimately benefit basic skills students, as well as all students. The grant work will include reorganizing the college’s various resource development operations and identifying ways to build an ongoing structure of financial support for students who may not otherwise qualify for scholarships or aid.

— Gina Herlihy is a public affairs technician for Allan Hancock College.

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