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PCC awarded $2.05 million grant to address Hispanic student needs

Pueblo Community College has been awarded a five-year, $2.05 million Title V “Strengthening Institutions -- Hispanic Serving Institution” grant by the U.S. Department of Education. PCC will receive $411,775 in the first year of the grant for the period that will begin Oct. 1.

The grant will address the persistent problems of student success and retention, particularly among Hispanic students. It will be used to implement a comprehensive, multi-faceted student-success model in the following three areas:

• Professional development designed to support faculty-driven efforts to increase retention.

• Improved support services to individual students in each academic area of the college.

• Focus on increasing retention/academic success among specific groups of students through a learning communities initiative.

The professional development aspects aimed at helping faculty will cover using teaching methodologies, understanding theories and principles of learning, managing learning communities, increasing retention, meeting the learning needs of special needs populations, valuing diversity and integrating critical skills into the curriculum (such as reading, writing, computer literacy, etc.).

Among the services to be used to help students are the use of educational advocates, a new advising model, tutoring and other learning support systems.

“I believe this grant will continue to transform our institution into an exemplary ‘learner-centered’ community college,” said Orlando Griego, PCC’s Executive Vice President, who helped work on the grant’s draft proposal.

The main objectives of the grant are to increase:

• The number of courses/learning communities that have been developed to incorporate learner-centered strategies.

• The efficiency of student advising by developing and implementing  a proactive student advising system.

• The number of  faculty and staff engaged in learner-centered practices by developing and implementing Summer Academy, a professional and staff development program.

Chip Nava, a math instructor at PCC, is the project coordinator and contact person for the Title V grant.

This Student Retention initiative was designed by a sub-committee of PCC’s Enrollment Management and Retention Committee, along with David Trujillo, who assisted in writing the grant. It was proposed in March of this year.

 
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