Napa Valley Register: Napa Valley College receives $2.6 million federal grant
Napa Valley College has received a $2.625 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions Department of Education grant to improve services for immigrant students.
The grant, which will be paid out over five years, will help the college to expand educational opportunities for all students and with a special focus on improving the educational attainment of Hispanic students. The college will be able to expand and enhance its academic offerings and program quality.
The federal Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program provides grants to assist public higher education institutions that have self-identified Hispanic student populations of more than 25 percent. In the fall of 2014, Napa Valley College’s self-identified Hispanic student population was 39 percent of its total student body.
“These federal dollars will strengthen our community by helping make sure someone’s first language isn’t a barrier to fully achieving his or her educational goals,” Rep. Mike Thompson said in a news release.
“I know first-hand the impact Napa Valley College can have on a student’s life. I’m Napa Valley College alum. I came to the school as a high school dropout with an Army-earned GED. Napa Valley College got my life on track. It’s an outstanding institution dedicated to bettering the lives of its students, and these funds will allow them to build on their great work.”
NVC Vice President of Student Services Oscar DeHaro said the grant “reinforces the resources available to all in our community and recognizes the urgent economic need of increasing college education access and completion for Hispanic students in California.”
NVC will use the funds to develop a Statistics Pathway course and dual language courses in the sciences. The Statistics Pathway course will provide students with an intensive six-unit course with content from pre-algebra, elementary and intermediate algebra contextualized in data analysis.
The dual languages courses will help bridge the gap in academic language fluency. They will incorporate Spanish-language materials into course materials, allowing Spanish-speaking students to achieve better academic success, higher levels of recall to test better, and attain better grades on oral and written exams.
Additional pieces funded in the grant are personnel for instruction and academic advising along with other interventions to help ensure student success.
In 2011, Napa Valley College received a five-year $3.8 million HSI STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) grant from the U.S. Department of Education and has used those funds to increase degree transfer rates of students majoring in the STEM fields at NVC by more than 30 percent, the college reported.