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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Representatives DeSaulnier and Thompson Announce Contra Costa College To Receive $1.2 Million Department of Education Grant

October 4, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced that Contra Costa College (CCC) will receive a $1,199,013 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The grant will be used for the College’s Caminos al Exito Project, which aims to improve access and opportunity in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for Hispanic and low-income residents.

“Having a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. Improving access to and participation in STEM education will help today’s students be better prepared for tomorrow’s careers,” said Representative Mark DeSaulnier. “Through this grant, Contra Costa College is not only investing in its student body, but is also helping to better our communities and create a strong economy.”

“These federal dollars will strengthen our community by helping make sure someone’s first language or family income isn’t a barrier to fully achieving his or her educational goals,” said Representative Mike Thompson. “A quality STEM education can open doors for our students as they look to secure well-paying jobs after graduation. And we know that demand for qualified employees will only continue to grow in the STEM field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of science and engineering jobs will grow at a faster rate than that of the overall projected workforce in the years ahead. As we work to close opportunity gaps for our Hispanic and low-income students, we must make sure that a STEM education is a real option in our schools.”

“We are so pleased that the U.S. Department of Education selected Contra Costa College (CCC) to receive another Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant focused on expanding exposure, access and completion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for Hispanics and low-income residents in our region,” says President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. “Many areas of job growth in our community will require a strong STEM foundation, and our proposal is designed to help more students successfully achieve the confidence, education and skills to be competitive for these opportunities. In addition, we are excited because this grant allows us to continue our important work in promoting and supporting STEM literacy for elementary students and their parents.”     

The grant is provided through the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institution’s Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics and Articulation (HSI STEM) Program. The purpose of the HSI STEM Program is to increase the number of Hispanic students attaining degrees in STEM fields and better facilitate transfers between two-year and four-year institutions in such fields.    

Specifically, the funds will be used to help the Caminos al Exito Project:

  • Increase access and college readiness to accelerate success in STEM for Hispanic and low-income area residents;
  • Increase the number of articulation agreements in STEM disciplines with the University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, University of California-Santa Cruz, California State University-East Bay, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University; and
  • Increase the retention, graduation and transfer rates of students in STEM through case management advising and high-impact educational practices.

Contra Costa College is a public community college in San Pablo serving the diverse communities of West Contra Costa County with over 6,500 enrolled students, 41 percent of which are Hispanic. Forty-five percent of the Hispanic students enrolled at Contra Costa College are both low-income and first-generation college students.

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