Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 3:22 pm | Mostly Cloudy 65º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Hancock Receives $1.1 Million to Help First-Generation Students Complete their Education

A successful program that assists first-generation students at Allan Hancock College will continue for at least another five years after the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $1.1 million federal grant to Allan Hancock College for the TRIO/Student Support Services project, known at the college as the College Achievement Now (CAN) program.

The program helps first-generation students with basic college requirements and provides them motivation to complete their postsecondary education.

“This grant has been instrumental in changing the odds for more than 300 students already served by the project,” said Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D.

“In a community where many high school graduates are not readily accepted into our local state universities, Hancock, and the continued support provided for the CAN program, are essential for our students to succeed and reach their educational and employment goals,” he said.

The newly refunded grant will allow the TRIO-CAN program to serve 156 students each year. The previous federal grant allowed for 140 students annually.

As an open-access community college, Hancock enrolls many economically and educationally challenged students, some of whom are veterans, foster youth, English language learners and/or students with a disability.

TRIO-CAN provides personalized support to help them integrate into the academic and social life of the college.

“Our students develop an academic mindset and come to know they can succeed,” said TRIO-CAN Director Petra Gomez. “Students support and encourage each other to persevere and work through frustrating obstacles.”

TRIO-CAN students receive priority registration, academic and career counseling, mentoring, field trips to four-year universities, free printing and a dedicated space for homework and group study.

“The CAN program has been great,” said Gerardo Atilano, who will transfer to California State University, Long Beach in the fall. “I learned what classes I needed to take and was encouraged to join several clubs, which I did.

"CAN helped me achieve my goal of transferring to a four-year university,” Atilano, who was one of nearly 30 TRIO-CAN students who will transfer to four-year universities in fall 2015, said.

The CAN Center, a space dedicated to TRIO-CAN scholars, provides the support network and environment that allow students to work collaboratively and thrive.

“CAN has taught me about a lot of resources I did not know existed,” said student Adrian Garcia. “It is really helpful to come here and study in groups. The center has become like a second home, and we look at each other like family members.”

Students must apply to the TRIO-CAN program. To be eligible, students are required to be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident and must either be a first-generation college student, meet federal income guidelines or have a verifiable disability.

For more information on the TRIO-CAN program, call 805.922.6966 x3434 or email [email protected]

—Andrew Masuda represents Allan Hancock College.

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