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College Awarded New Title V Grant

The College received a new five-year, $3.5 million grant beginning in the fall 2004 semester to help more Hispanic students finish four-year degrees. The grant is one of 31 awarded nationwide this year by the U.S. Department of Education to colleges and universities where at least 25 percent of students are Hispanic.

The money will be used to improve student retention and degree completion from 2004 to 2009 in partnership with Pasadena City College. The colleges will help Hispanic students transfer from two-year programs at the Pasadena community college to four-year degree programs at Mount St. Mary's in such areas as business, health, teacher education, fine arts, sociology, and gerontology. Students will have access to shared academic tracking systems as well as to tutors, mentors, and internships.

Professors will be trained to better engage Hispanic students and track their progress.

National studies released in 2004 by the Pew Hispanic Center show that Hispanics, as the country's largest minority group, are half as likely to graduate with a four-year degree than white students with similar academic credentials. Hispanic students, the studies show, are more likely to delay enrollment in college, have greater financial responsibility for their families, and live with their families while in college.

Mount St. Mary's President Jacqueline Powers Doud said the grant allows the colleges to close this gap by providing seamless student guidance and support for transfer, financial aid, tutoring and internships. About 44 percent of Mount St. Mary's baccalaureate students are Hispanic, and 36 percent of Pasadena City College's students are Hispanic.

"Mount Saint Mary’s University shares with Pasadena City College the desire for student success in both the classroom and the world," Doud said. "We are fortunate to have been awarded this highly competitive grant."

Larry Smith, vice president for Information Support and Title V program director at Mount St. Mary's, said the grant aims to strengthen academic programs for all students and to meet the vital need of helping more Hispanic students earn bachelor's degrees. "We will work to create a four-year pathway to degrees for students," he said.

Mount St. Mary's grant is among 17 awarded to California colleges in 2004. Other area colleges receiving Title V grants in 2004 include Chaffey College, Long Beach City College, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Compton Community College, West Los Angeles College, and Cal State Fullerton.

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