Pipeline Grant Aims to Raise Transfer Numbers

Tania Chatila
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Glendale Community College, in partnership with California State University at Northridge, has received a $3-million Title V Cooperative Grant to assist students moving from high school through community college and on to a four-year university.

Funded by the federal Department of Education, only five cooperative grants were distributed nationwide, with GCC-CSUN being one of the recipients. The grant, which stretches over five years, is expected to allocate about 38 percent of funds to CSUN and 62 percent to GCC.

The pipeline grant is one specifically set aside for Hispanic Serving Institutions of higher education in order to improve transfer and
degree completion rates among Hispanic students as well as other at risk students. Of the students currently attending GCC, about 25 percent are Hispanic.

GCC English professor Sue Brinkmeyer headed the effort and put together the grant application. Among other goals, the grant focuses on expanding the existing English Bridge Program with feeder high schools and also on building a Math Bridge Program to develop clear transfer alliances with four-year schools, Brinkmeyer said.

“The grant was proposed in great to help students become integrated in college culture,” said Brinkmeyer. “We want to see students have a smooth sail from high school, to college, and on to their careers.”

Building on the cooperative network with CSUN, the grant will focus specifically on developing transfer-guarantee programs and services linking students from GCC to CSUN after an initial completion of 15 units at the community college. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to utilize CSUN services including meeting with advisers, attending workshops and enrolling in classes not offered on the GCC campus.

The grant also proposes extending an outreach program, working with CSUN, to expand the education of junior high and high school students along with their parents about the necessary preparations for succeeding in college.

Alongside the development of an outreach program, the grant also summarizes the funding of freshman student development programs and classes that will focus on helping new students interpret their interests and goals and apply them to doing better in school. Through these programs students will be given the opportunity to understand the different aspects of their intended majors and meet
with counselors to find an academic path which best suits them.

“Through these freshman development programs, students will have those support systems they need when they have doubts,” said Brinkmeyer.

The grant also proposes providing scholarships in order to encourage students not only to stay in college, but also to transfer and graduate from four-year schools. The scholarship program planned is modeled after the Hispanic Scholarship Fund at CSUN and the East Los Angeles Community Union Scholarship program.

This is not the first time GCC has received a Title V grant. The first grant, funded two years ago, provided research into finding reasoning behind the low transfer rate among Hispanic students.

The grant awarded to GCC in cooperation with CSUN is part of a $19.4-million allocation to 45 selected Hispanic-serving colleges and universities across the country, with GCC and CSUN being one of the five recipients of cooperative arrangement development grants.

Los Angeles City College; California State University, San Bernardino; Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell; and LaGuardia Community College in New York also received Title V cooperative grants.