CHULA VISTA – A five-year effort to improve student persistence and completion rates at Southwestern College has been given a financial boost.
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the college $2,397,000 over five years for its Puertas al Futuro (Doorways to the Future) grant application. Funding will be used to create a first-year experience where cohorts of freshmen will work with a College Success Team and peer mentors to strengthen their study skills and build a learning community. The funding will also be used to shorten the time students spend in basic skills. Programming begins Oct. 1, 2014.
“Puertas al Futuro helps us implement best practices that focus on counseling support, peer mentoring, learning communities and new instructional strategies,” said Dr. Melinda Nish, superintendent/president of Southwestern College. “Our goal is to streamline the pathways for students to complete their educational goals.”
As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Southwestern College serves more than 10,000 Latino students each fall. Funding will allow the college to utilize a new approach to teaching mathematics and provide specialized tutoring in English/writing, English as a Second Language, math and reading. It will create College Success Teams that will be assigned to students to help them navigate and access resources during college. Funding also includes an outreach component to give Spanish-speaking parents the tools needed to support their college students.