The Texas City-based community college received the grant as a Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution; eligible higher education institutions must have at least 25% Hispanic students. Of the more than 4,300 students enrolled at COM as of fall 2020, 33% are Hispanic, per the release.
The grant provides financial assistance to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students by enhancing their academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability, per the release. In addition to supporting student services, the grant will also help COM acquire equipment and resources for its new engineering programs and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics building.
“When students step foot on our campus, we’re here to support their success from start to finish,” college President Warren Nichols said in the release. “The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant reinforces that work and highlights our unwavering commitment to broadening student access to high-quality learning opportunities.”
COM was first awarded a DHSI grant in 2015 to support financial literacy initiatives, software expansion and enhanced student services. This year, COM is one of 22 Texas schools selected to receive new grant funding through the program, per the release.
The five-year award will provide a grant-funded engineering faculty position in COM’s soon-to-launch engineering programs along with other student services and Title V program positions, per the release.
Specifically, the grant will focus on increasing the number of declared Hispanic science, technology, engineering and math majors; increasing fall-to-fall retention rates for Hispanic students; increasing Hispanic students’ three-year graduation rates; and increasing the number of students applying for financial aid.
“This grant award will allow COM to grow Title V funding and make a lifetime of difference for thousands of our students over the next five years,” Title V Director Deborah Fregia said in the release.