The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Chaffey College a $3.2 million grant to boost the region’s college-going rate, support high school dual enrollment and promote workplace essential skills.
The Title V grant, received this month, was only awarded to 75 colleges across the country that are designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions or colleges with a student population that is 25 percent or more Latino.
“This grant will be a game-changer for current and future Chaffey College students, as well as our surrounding community,” said Chaffey College Superintendent/President Henry Shannon. “When more students earn college degrees and certificates, particularly those from underserved communities, it has a lasting impact on their families and the economy.”
It is the fourth time Chaffey has received a Title V grant. The college has used funding to establish the Guiding Panthers to Success support centers as well as the tutoring program “Supplemental Instruction,” among other initiatives.
Laura Hope, associate superintendent of instruction and institutional effectiveness, said the new grant will help Chaffey support Latinos, as well as other students, in various ways including:
- Better access – Chaffey College plans to work with the high schools within its district to improve the college-going rate through technology support and improvements. The Inland Empire region’s rate of high school graduates going to college sits about 10 percent lower than the state average and schools in Chaffey’s district have a range of 15 to around 65 percent of students enrolling in college right after graduating. Chaffey will also support adults starting college courses after being in the workforce for years.
- Dual enrollment support – The number of high school students in Chaffey’s dual enrollment program has grown 700 percent in the last two years. “We intend to maximize that even further because we know that getting students into the college pipeline as soon as possible is how we can break the cycle of poverty,” Hope said.
- General education reform and digital badging for skills – Chaffey College has adopted “The World of Work,” a program that teaches teamwork, critical thinking, leadership and other skills deemed important by employers. Students earn “digital badges” by completing these courses, which are recognized by employers in a similar way to degrees and certificates. With the grant, Chaffey will expand this program to general education courses where students can earn the badges for class activities that illustrate and recognize “essential workplace skills.”
Hope said the grant squarely connects to Chaffey’s vision of improving lives through education.
“This grant gives us the resources to help students who need us most,” Hope said “It allows us to activate programming and infrastructure to support students who need us now and those who will need us in the future. This is particularly crucial in light of a merciless economy that favors people with a college education.”