In securing a competitive five-year, $2.6 million Title V grant, College of the Canyons — a qualified Latino-serving institution — has the opportunity to enhance the educational experience in serving its increasingly diverse student population.
Latino students currently represent the largest single demographic of students at COC, comprising 43 percent of the student body. In total, the non-white student population at COC has tripled since 2000 and now sits at over 60 percent.
“When I was a student here at COC in the late 1980s, the Latino student population was about 10 percent,” said the college’s Assistant Superintendent and Vice President of Institutional Development, Technology, and Online Services Dr. Barry Gribbons.
“So clearly there’s been a significant shift. It’s wonderful to see that we have students of all different backgrounds as COC is truly serving all the segments of the community.”
According to the college’s grant proposal, there are numerous challenges facing Latino students at COC. Seventy percent of students who are Latino work part-time, with an additional 25 percent committed to full-time jobs.
Simply put, the resources that a Title V grant provides for COC will make it easier to address these issues with new procedures and increasingly specific objectives.
As outlined in the college’s comprehensive development plan, the grant will be directly allocated to improvements which include online educational plans, expanded online tutoring programs, increased use of open educational resources, online counseling and increased faculty training for culturally congruent pedagogy.
“We are leveraging technology solutions made possible by the Title V funding to reach a greater number of students and provide them with the knowledge and resources they need to be successful,” said Dr. James Temple, Associate Vice President of Information Technology and the grant’s Project Director.
While these initiatives are being implemented as a result of Title V funding, all COC students will reap the benefits.
“What’s great about Title V projects is that they’re designed to help everybody, not just a small group of students,” Gribbons added.
“The comprehensive education plan will be a really helpful way for students to plan out their college experience from the beginning to graduation. It will also immensely help administrators because the data will be returned to us, allowing us to have a better idea of how to structure the class schedule.”
By September 30, 2016 the college aims to have fully accessible online counseling and educational planning, with a participation rate of at least 50 percent. By 2018, Title V funding is projected to raise that participation rate to at least 70 percent.
By 2019, the final year under grant funding, COC is projected to have trained an additional 250 full-time and adjunct faculty in culturally relevant pedagogy.
“The Grants Development Office is very honored to be one of 29 colleges and universities across the county to have our application funded,” said Theresa Zuzevich, Director of Grant Developments at COC. “We are excited about the positive impact this will have on students.”