Gavilan College was recently awarded $3.75 million for a project focused on creating technical career pathways for students, particularly Hispanic and low-income ones.
The money for this project will come from a Title V grant, which Gavilan has received three of over the last 18 months. The other two Title V grants at Gavilan College address the STEM program and improving student success through a focus on the first year in college.
The most recent grant addresses the need to improve completion rates for Hispanic students, particularly in Career Technical Education (CTE) fields. Research has shown that CTE is the road not traveled to degree completion by students who need it the most: Hispanic and low-income.
Gavilan College will be collaborating with Hartnell College and California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) to address the low attainment of degrees in technical career fields. The project has a total budget of $3.75 million to be spent over a five-year period, with $2.4 to be spent at Gavilan College and the balance to be spent at Hartnell and CSUMB.
The grant will strengthen academic programs by:
- Developing three CTE transfer pathways to CSUMB in nursing, computer science and digital media.
- Improving institutional management by increasing the quality and quantity of data available to evaluate and improve the CTE transfer pathway, and train faculty and students to track student outcomes.
- Enhancing fiscal stability by providing services to more CTE transfer pathway students at no additional operating costs and reducing technology costs with "open-source" resources.
"I think when you look at those institutions that were awarded nationally, it is outstanding that we were recognized for the innovative ideas of our faculty by receiving three awards in 18 months," said Gavilan College Executive Vice President and Chief Instructional Officer Kathleen Rose. "It demonstrates a level of confidence in Gavilan’s ability to answer the national trends in higher ed agenda on a local level."
A lack of data to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of CTE pathways has made it difficult to address the lack of Hispanic and low-income students in CTE fields.
The project aims to improve the capability of the three institutional partners to assess and improve vital career education pathways, which make it more likely that students who begin at the community college level will transfer to university and complete a degree in their chosen career field.
Gavilan and Hartnell have both faced significant budget reductions from the State of California in recent years, at a time when community college resources are needed by more students seeking career training. The project will significantly improve the efficiency of the CTE program at both community colleges.
Title V has allowed Gavilan to now address three major instructional service areas of the college: language arts and sciences, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and now CTE, Rose said.
Gavilan College is the lead college in this Title V Cooperative Arrangement project.
Gavilan College was originally established in 1919 and is one of the oldest colleges in the California Community College (CCC) system. Gavilan serves southern Santa Clara and most of San Benito Counties.
The 2,700 square mile service area located in California's agricultural belt has a Hispanic population of 57 percent. Hartnell College, founded in 1920, is also one of the oldest CCCs and serves the Salinas Valley in Monterey County, a fertile agricultural region some 10 miles wide and 100 miles long.
Over 55 percent of the population in the county is Hispanic. CSUMB was established in 1994 as the 21st of the 23 campuses that make up the CSU system.
CSUMB, located between the Salinas Valley and Monterey Peninsula, serves students from the entire state of California, but over 30 percent of the undergraduate students come from the area served by Gavilan and Hartnell.
The grant was awarded by the United States Department of Education, as one of 19 grants being awarded nationally "to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students."
A Hispanic-Serving Institution is defined as an eligible institution of higher education that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate enrollment at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of the application.