PCC was one of 96 colleges nationwide to receive the Hispanic-Serving Institution Title V grant, which will provide the college $525,000 annually for the next five years. The grant is meant to assist schools in the development of faculty, curriculum, academic tutoring, mentoring, and other services.
“I am thrilled that Pasadena City College has been awarded this grant to help reach more students,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D – 27th District). “The opportunity to take part in an equitable education – regardless of race, zip code, or background – is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future. It’s an honor to represent a school like PCC, and I will continue to support their work in providing high-quality education to everyone in our area.”
A HSI is defined as an eligible institution of higher education that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment. As of fall 2015, 49 percent of PCC’s student body is Hispanic, making it the largest demographic at the college.
“More Hispanics than ever before are enrolling in college, and this grant program will help even more students have access to post-secondary degrees and credentials, which are key to building a highly skilled workforce,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Hispanics will soon represent nearly one in three American workers, and in this competitive global marketplace, a skilled workforce is a necessity. The grant program also provides opportunities for low-income students to improve their life outcomes by obtaining a quality education.”
With the grant, PCC plans to leverage the funds to further develop the highly successful PCC Pathways Program and its Second-Year Pathway component, which was piloted last year with 450 students. This year, 750 students are enrolled.
Under the PCC Pathways Program, the First-Year Pathway provides students guaranteed full schedules – including difficult-to-get English and math courses – in the fall and spring semesters at the college. Led by a team of dedicated counselors and coaches, the PCC Pathways Program also provides students the critical support they need outside of the classroom.
Once the students are transitioned into the Second-Year Pathway, they will focus on major and career exploration, according to Brock Klein, associate dean of Pathways and Professional Learning.
“Students need the support in their second year,” Klein said. “It’s really about avoiding the ‘sophomore slump’ and keeping them engaged, while accelerating the completion of their academic goals.
“With the First-Year Pathway, we’ve done a good job in getting students in and getting them going. This new grant allows us to focus on the completion side – getting them out with a degree, certificate, or transfer to a four-year institution,” he added.
The Title V grant is just one part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to expand equity and opportunity in education to Hispanic students. Last month, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics announced a series of commitments, a new report, and a set of education data plans outlining the Administration’s work to improve the lives of the 55 million Hispanics who live in the U.S.
For more information on the PCC Pathways program, visit www.pasadena.edu/pathways.