CSULB has been awarded a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education through its Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program. The university will receive $574,995 annually for five years to address academic and professional obstacles often experienced by Latino students.
The resources will allow CSULB to support activities in three specific areas: improvement in academic advising and mentoring opportunities for Latino students; professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to develop more culturally relevant advising and instructional strategies for Latino students; and enhancement of institutional research capabilities to better measure and follow Latino student academic progress.
CSULB has experienced a steady increase in the enrollment of Latino undergraduate students, growing from 6,323 in 2001 to 7,496 in 2005. Through its various campus initiatives, the university also has recently improved its one-year retention rates for both first-time freshmen and transfer Latino students to 80 percent and 91.3 percent, respectively. Furthermore, the six-year graduation rates for first-time Latino freshmen and four-year graduation rates for transfer Latino students improved by 15 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, during the five-year period that began in 1999.
These increases have helped CSULB’s graduation rates for Latino students exceed that of the national average for public universities.
“This grant will further allow us to make continued strides in addressing the academic and professional success of our Latino students,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander.
Overall, the Long Beach campus was one of 33 colleges and universities across the United States and Puerto Rico receiving the Title V grants, and the only four-year institution in California. The CSULB project, titled “Mi Casa, Mi Universidad: Building a Culture and Practice of Latino Student Success at California State University, Long Beach,” is led by co-principal investigators Britt Rios-Ellis and Linda Tiggs-Taylor.
A Hispanic-Serving Institution is defined as a non-profit institution that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent enrollment and, of that Hispanic enrollment at least 50 percent are low income. CSULB obtained its HSI eligibility status in fall 2005 when 8,663 Latino students enrolled at the campus, representing 25.1 percent of undergraduate and graduate students.
Grants are awarded to HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. In addition, they are designed to enhance the academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Latino college students and other low-income individuals completing post-secondary degrees.