The U.S. Department of Education awarded Sacramento City College $3.85 million in grant funds on Sept. 29 to further our commitment to assist Hispanic/Latino and low-income students in their studies of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) over the next five years.
SCC will use the money to develop the “STEM Equity and Success Initiative” (SESI) as a comprehensive, multifaceted program to increase the participation and success rates of Hispanic/Latino and low-income students in STEM-related fields and careers. These fields of study are historically underrepresented by Hispanic and low-income students, despite their ability to do well in them. The ultimate objective is to see more students complete associate-level degrees in these majors and transfer to four-year institutions in STEM fields.
Key to the SESI program will be a comprehensive student focus that begins with the first time we come into contact with him/her all the way through graduation or transfer. Among SESI’s many features are: targeted outreach within the Hispanic community, a variety of instruments used to assess each student’s current level of STEM expertise, a summer transition program, proactive counseling, individualized education plans for participants, hands-on STEM-related assignments in all courses (including general education), and peer mentors.
“We are proud that the government sees our STEM Equity and Success Initiative as worthy of investment, because it’s an investment in our students,” said Jim Collins, SCC’s Dean of Science and Allied Health and the college’s SESI project director. “We know that degrees and careers in science-related fields can provide financial and career stability for many people. Now we have a mechanism to reach even more of them.”
Sacramento City College is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) because more than 25-percent of its student body self-identify as Hispanic/Latino. In 2015, SCC received a $2.65 million HSI grant to develop a program known as “Students in a Global Economy” (SAGE). With this grant, more than $6.5 million has been provided to SCC in the last 18 months for programs targeting Hispanic/Latino and low-income students.