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October 16, 2015


Sheryl Herchenroeder
Public Information
909 652-6114

For Immediate Release


(RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA.) - Chaffey College officials proudly announce that it is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program grant. Chaffey College will receive $525,000 every year for the next five years to support academics and learning. Grants totaling $51 million to 96 institutions were awarded for 2015.

The Chaffey College grant program is designed to Improve Progression and Transfer Readiness of Hispanic, Low-Income, and High-Need Students. The program includes three components: creation of student retention software, development of a high school bridge program, and strengthening of math curriculum and instruction delivery.

“This grant focuses on structural changes in the institution and allows us to realize long-term goals that change how we instruct our most at-risk populations. With this support we can improve the quality of life in the communities we serve by providing access to education in a success-centered environment,” said Laura Hope, Dean of Instructional Support and the Grant Director. “Our previous grant ($3.1 million 2010-2015) allowed us to make improvements that reinforced the core values of Chaffey College and resulted in the highest success rate in college history (72%).”

The 2015-2019 grant will allow the college to develop an innovative dual credit year-round high school bridge program that will improve college readiness, particularly in math. Building on the college’s successful supplemental instruction and student services models, and working with K-12 partners, this grant program will bring Chaffey College’s hope mindset practices into the high school environment, thereby improving instruction and student engagement prior to traditional college enrollment.

Secondly, grant funds will be used to develop and implement a comprehensive student retention software (SRS) program to be utilized by faculty, staff, and students to monitor goal
progress. Components of the proposed SRS portal include positive reinforcement messages, goal tracking, transfer planning and support, and student accountability. Building on the existing student services and instructional support centers, the SRS platform will provide a more robust atmosphere that will build engagement as students progress through their college experience. Further, the system will encourage secondary students to develop the academic skills and interest necessary to pursue secondary education.

Finally, the grant will support the college's curriculum and professional development activities by creating teaching methods that align with recent changes to the K-12 mathematics curriculum. Working with local high school partners, the college will develop curriculum and course structure that better aligns with the common core curriculum being used in the region.

"The most exciting part of the HSI grant is that it allows us to make broad changes to how we reach and teach students," said Hope. "These improvements are not limited to under-represented students; they affect our entire student population. And these enhancements will improve learning for students, both here at the college and at the high school level. Ultimately, the more successful our current students are, the more access we can provide for future Chaffey College students.”

A report released by Community College Week Magazine identified the top two- and four-year colleges and universities that awarded degrees and certificates in the 2013-14 academic year. In this report, Chaffey College ranked 36th in the nation, 26th among community colleges, and 9th in the state in associate degrees awarded to minority students. The number of degrees awarded to Chaffey College Hispanic students increased by 30.7% for the 2013-14 academic year. Additionally, the college experienced a 27.2% increase in the number of two-year certificates earned by Hispanic students, garnering the college a top ranking on the Community College Week Top 100 List in this category.

"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 (in a press release September 29, 2015). "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." For more information on the Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions Program, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Established in 1883, Chaffey College was one of the first colleges to be established in California and offers associate degrees, as well as vocational and transfer programs in a wide variety of subjects. Courses are offered at campuses in Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, and Fontana, as well as online through the Distance Education program. For general information about the college, please visit www.chaffey.edu.

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