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Adams State, Otero Junior College and Trinidad State to cooperate on $3.4 million Title V grant

A $3.4 million Title V grant was awarded to Adams State College for a cooperative project with Otero Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College and to expand educational access for Hispanic students. Funding in the first year of the five-year project is $688,235, according to Dr. Barbara Medina, Chair of Adams State’s Teacher Education Department.

“We’re pleased to have this opportunity to strengthen our relationships with Trinidad State and Otero Junior College, as well as to expand our off-campus teacher education program,” Medina said.

The project is designed to attack the problems that often prevent Hispanic students from obtaining a bachelor’s degree. It aims to increase enrollment of community college students in four-year teacher education programs, increase students in the transfer/baccalaureate pipeline, improve instructional skills among the college faculty, improve student academic performance, and improve course alignment between the two community colleges and Adams State.

“We and our partner institutions all struggle to serve economically challenged communities that are isolated by distance and topography from any urban area,” Medina added.

The three rural Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) serve a total of 15 counties over a 23,000-square-mile region in southern Colorado. The area has a total of 235,000 residents, of whom more than 48 percent are Hispanic.

“Otero Junior College is excited to receive the Title V HSI cooperative grant with ASC & TSJC,” said Gary Ashida, vice president of administrative services at Otero Junior College. “We have been on the forefront of delivering higher education cooperatively for many years. The opportunity to further our partnership with grant dollars to develop more four year offerings and distance education opportunities for our service area is particularly appealing.”

Mimi Zappanti, Director of Title V at Trinidad State Junior College, said, “We’re so excited to be able to partner with Otero and Adams State to bring four-year degrees through distance learning to all of our service areas. It is so important in today’s economy that students have option to finish a four-year degree so they can compete in world market.”

Targeting provision of quality programs and transfer opportunities to a historically underserved region, the project has four components:

1.) A professional development program driven by the highly successful CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) project at Adams State

2.) Professional development for faculty in learner-centered teaching practices and instructional technology

3.) Expanded access to teacher education programs by distance education and expansion of the Rural Education Access Program (REAP) model

4.) Web-based student services/retention services and an Early Alert System

REAP is an Adams State College program begun five years ago that allows students to complete a bachelor’s in education degrees at three community colleges in southeast Colorado: Trinidad State, Otero Junior College, and Lamar Community College.







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