September 23, 2021
The state of Sacramento’s work to support Latinx and other under-represented groups is getting a significant boost, with $ 8 million in new funding from two five-year grants from the US Department of Education.
The grants, announced today by the Department of Education, are only available to colleges and universities designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). They bring the total funding Sac State has received since obtaining federal designation in 2015 to $ 14.5 million.
About 30% of Sac State students identify as Latinx.
âA key part of our work to become an anti-racist and inclusive campus is to embrace systemic changes that eliminate inequalities and promote the success of our students, and the projects funded by these grants will do just that,â said the president of the university, Robert S. Nelsen.
âThe fact that the State of Sacramento has received not one but two HSI grants is a testament to the work our faculty and staff do not only to help our students achieve their dreams of graduating from college, but also to prepare them. to have a successful and fulfilling career after graduation. . “
The first grant, a $ 3 million Hispanic Institutional Development (DHSI) grant, will launch a new project titled “Degree with a Purpose: Integrating Career Development and Financial Well-Being into the College Experience.” .
“These grants from the US Department of Education are further proof that Sac State is on the rise and continues to put students first.” – Congresswoman Doris Matsui
The DHSI program provides funding to HSIs to expand educational opportunities for Latinx students and help them persevere until graduation. The Diploma with a Goal project aims to remove educational and economic barriers for under-represented and low-income students by prioritizing career development throughout their college experience.
The project will integrate early career preparation, financial well-being and workplace learning into programs, such as new student orientation, for incoming students; help teachers integrate these topics into existing courses and programs; and providing students with dedicated counseling and individual career planning.
âStudents, especially first generation students and other under-represented students, are often unaware of where support and career exploration opportunities are available,â said Viridiana Diaz, associate vice president of programs student support strategies and co-director of the grant. âDegree with a Purpose will make career development and preparation the central priority of a college education by helping students make informed choices early on while creating momentum toward a worthy degree and rewarding career. “
Melissa Repa, director of Sac State’s Career Center and another co-director of the grant, said research shows a mismatch between student classroom learning and the needs of employers and the community.
âThis DHSI grant provides resources that are not readily available to help students succeed throughout their academic journey to help them achieve their professional and financial goals,â said Repa.
The second grant, a $ 5 million HSI STEM grant, will fund a new program called “STEM4Equity,” which aims to increase the number of Latinx and low-income students graduating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The project will help faculty rethink courses to be culturally appropriate and aligned with the needs of employers; expand the peer-assisted learning program to serve students in four high enrollment, high failure STEM courses; create a STEM transfer center to support transfer students; and promote traditional leadership activities, micro-internships and paid internships to develop the STEM identity of Latinx and low-income students and prepare them for their careers.
The latter strategy, in particular, aligns with the DHSI grant, linking projects as student support efforts.
âSTEM4Equity aspires to transform STEM education at Sac State by creating equity and workplace relevance in classes, peer student programs and degree programs,â said Lynn Tashiro, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and HSI STEM Grant Principal Investigator. with the Vice-President of Student Affairs, Ed Mills.
âThe program brings resources to the university that will enable faculty to create equitable learning environments and expand the program to give students hands-on skills,â Tashiro said.
DHSI and HSI STEM Grants are the fourth and fifth awarded to Sac State as HSI. In 2015, the University received $ 2.4 million from the US Department of Education to launch Project INSPIRE, a program aimed at improving the academic success of under-represented students.
In 2017, the University received an additional grant from the Department of Education of $ 2.6 million for Comprometid @ s, a project to increase the number of Hispanic and bilingual teachers and in 2018, Sac State received $ 1.5 million from the National Science Foundation for professional development in STEM. Faculty.
âThe State of Sacramento is a hub of intellectual and personal growth, propelling our region forward with innovative programs that remove barriers for first-generation, low-income and minority students, while providing vital support for career development, âsaid MP Doris Matsui. . âAs we work to better rebuild and create the opportunities of tomorrow, it is essential that we provide the tools necessary to nurture our next generation of innovators and leaders, including in STEM fields.
âI thank President Nelsen and the entire university community for their dedication to providing these opportunities and ensuring that students in our region continue to thrive into the future. These grants from the US Department of Education are further proof that Sac State is on the rise and continues to put students first. “