CSUN has been awarded $2.2 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Education. The funds are intended to increase the number of prospective college entrants and enrollments in under-privileged communities.
“We are interested in improving access to college and fully support the goals of this program,” said Mary Ann Cummins Prager, the Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Access and Support Services.
Through the Student Outreach and Recruitment Services office on campus, students in overlooked communities will receive academic advising and college counseling to spur higher enrollment in college after high school. The office offers various academic services to more than 100 high schools, 22 community colleges and a number of elementary and middle schools in the area to help pave the way for prospective university students.
Javier Hernandez, the director of Outreach Services, plans to utilize a two-faceted approach in conducting the program.
“We will be employing CSUN student assistants as well as full-time staff to coordinate and administer the services,” he said.
Almost 1,200 middle school and high school students will directly benefit from the program. The funds are in the form of two Educational Talent Search grants. These particular grants are rooted in educational-subsidies programs started by the U.S. government in 1965, directed to ensure opportunities for all qualifiers, regardless of their race, ethnicity or economic circumstances.
“The ultimate goal is to actualize the full potential of these children and give an equal playing field in order for all students to succeed,” said Nikki Dixon, an Outreach recruiter.
Each standard grant amounts to $220,000 per year for four years. Both proposals for grant money made by CSUN to the U.S Department of Education ranked in the top 10 percentile nationally, meaning that the university would receive an additional year of funding, Hernandez said.
“The proposal introduced a very ambitious plan and made a strong case that CSUN was going to help students and parents in needy areas, help them prepare for college and ultimately be successful,” Hernandez said.