MOSES LAKE — The Department of Education awarded Big Bend Community College $3 million over the next five years to help expand educational opportunities and access to services for Hispanic students.
The federal Title V grant is awarded every five years to assist Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) as they work to improve the academic attainment of low-income and Hispanic students and expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability. Funds from this grant became effective this month.
Big Bend Director of Title V Grants Tammy Napiontek said the grant will fund several initiatives including the development of a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Applied Management degree, a campus internet capacity expansion to utilize eLearning for course and student services delivery, and instructional materials and technology for students. These initiatives will help the college better serve students in an online or hybrid capacity, something that has become more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal grant will also support the development and delivery of student support services for evening and online students, including students in the new BAS Applied Management program, which was recently approved by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). Big Bend will launch the program in the Fall of 2021.
“The program will position working adults in the region for managerial jobs, it makes sense to make services available to them when they can access them,” said Napiontek. “Other projects supported by the new Title V grant is the development of a new employee onboarding program, and professional development opportunities for staff and faculty.
Big Bend faculty will earn the ESCALA certificate in College Teaching and Learning in Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the only teaching program in the country that focuses on increasing Latinx student success.
ESCALA (Spanish for ‘striving’) is a consortium of higher education consultants who work specifically with Hispanic-Serving Institutions to close the gap in educational access and completion rates for Latinos, mainly through faculty development programming and remedial program evaluation.
“We are incredibly excited and grateful for the next five years to expand access to educational opportunities to our service district, and our faculty and staff,” said Napiontek. “Big Bend is committed to providing the tools to better meet the needs of our students and greater overall student success.”