College missed getting $3.5 million

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By Devin Dziuk

This college missed getting a $3.5 million Title 5 grant from the U.S. Department of Education by scoring about 1 percent less than the rating required for acceptance.

The grant was for a partnership to improve access to baccalaureate degrees through math and writing courses between this college and Texas State University-San Marcos.

“When you write a grant you really don’t know what is going to happen,” said Susan Espinoza, resource and college development, and grant writer for the college.

The cooperative arrangement under Title 5 is also known as Puentes, which means bridges in Spanish. Espinoza came up with this name.

The grant received a score of 94.33. A score of 95 was required, according to a Sept. 2 letter from the U.S. Department of Education.

The college will attempt to continue steps toward this goal.

Espinoza said the college will resubmit the application when more Title 5 funds become available.

Title 5 is known as Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program or HSI. This grant serves Hispanic serving institutions and was nearly $3.5 million.

“The government will send money where there is a greater need,” Espinoza said.

The grant proposal had four criteria.

The first was an expansion of the pilot writing center for the English department. This funding would have gone toward more lab instructors, technology resources and writing tools.

The second part would have helped design a math center to help students in developmental courses, using a one-on-one process of individual tutoring and 24-hour online access for students.

The third part of the proposal was development for math and English instructors. This includes professional education for faculty.

The last part of the proposal would have funded a “pipeline” enhancement program. This is similar to the two-plus-two program between this college and senior universities. Students would take core classes here and transfer to Texas State.

The expected outcome of the program was for at least 84 students to transfer each fall, as well as to increase the number of Hispanic students to four-year universities from 7 percent to 12 percent.

Another expectation was for Texas State to increase the number of Hispanic students by 1,479 students to 25 percent of enrollees being Hispanic.

Espinoza said that the process of improving the labs is already taking place with available funding.


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