While Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria spent the week of Sept. 14 through 18 celebrating its legacy as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the college also received more than $4.2 million in grant funding to support Latinx and other students on their path to educational success.
Hancock celebrated National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week by posting supportive video messages from administrators, students and staff on its social media pages. In addition, the AHC Library debuted a specially curated virtual display, featuring a selection of books, films and links to other Hispanic heritage websites.
A Hispanic-Serving Institution is defined as an institution of higher education that serves enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25% Hispanic. AHC is recognized as an HSI, with approximately 65% of its student population identifying as Hispanic. During the 2020 summer semester, the college also began offering its new Latino/Latina Studies degree program.
Latinx is a gender-neutral word that relates to people of Latin American origin or descent, especially living in the United States.
“This week was about celebrating being a Hispanic-Serving Institution. That means that we as a college have worked to identify and deliver programs and services to help our Latinx community achieve their educational goals,” said Dr. Nohemy Ornelas, Ed.D., associate superintendent/vice president of student services.
“I was a Latina student who attended and graduated from Hancock. Without the support I received at this college, I may not have been able to reach my goals. As a Hancock alum, I’m excited to see that this college continues to support our community.”
That support will continue and be enhanced because of two grants that will provide the college with more than $4.2 million in funding, directly impacting its students.
The first grant from the U.S. Department of Education provides a total of $1.3 million over the next five years for Hancock’s TRIO program. TRIO includes eight programs for low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities. The funds will provide tutoring, career assessment, mentoring, cultural enrichment activities and other services and programs for qualified students.
The college also received a second grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title V program. It will provide a total of $2.9 million over the next five years to foster college completion and skill development for underrepresented students. The funding will pay for a wide range of support programs, including expanding high school outreach, expanding the college’s AIM to Dream centers, financial literacy and career readiness programs and other student services.
“We are excited to continue serving our students. Over the past years, we’ve seen large grants like these support our STEM efforts, our Health Sciences efforts and our Career and Technical Education programs,” said
Dr. Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D., superintendent/president.
“These grants will help every student on our campus advance in the areas of college affordability, college access and the ability to earn a college degree.”