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Vol 56 No. 16 | Dec. 2004
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Department of Education Awards LBCC, CSULB $3.4 Million Grant

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant to Long Beach City College (LBCC) and CSULB for a project that will provide programs and services to improve students' success in math, science and English and increase the transfer of students between the two campuses.

The funding comes from the department's Title V Program, which aims to serve colleges that have a large number of Latino students. LBCC, the lead institution for the grant, has more than 9,300 Latino students, and CSULB has more than 8,000. Both colleges agree more needs to be done to retain Latino students, and this cooperative effort will be a step in the right direction.

"We are delighted to partner with our colleagues at Cal State Long Beach to create this important program, which will significantly and positively address student needs at both institutions," said Long Beach City College Superintendent-President E. Jan Kehoe. "This is the largest cooperative grant between our two colleges, and the activities under this grant will provide services and research that will directly impact students' success and retention at both LBCC and CSULB."

Among the activities and techniques used in the project will be the assessment of learning outcomes to help faculty address the foundations of knowledge and skills expected of students who transfer. Project administrators will also institute learning communities, supplemental instruction, multimedia learning modules and faculty use of technology. These are some of the most effective methods for student retention, according to officials.

"For both colleges, we believe this cooperative partnership is a win-win," noted CSULB President Robert C. Maxson. "Students will benefit from activities designed to help them succeed in math, science and English, which are critical foundation skills for their education. In addition, faculty at both institutions will be engaged through collaborative faculty development to examine student learning outcomes."

First-year experience learning communities will focus on historically difficult courses in English, math and science. The learning communities create a cohort of students who take courses together and forge study groups while the faculty plans lessons and lectures that integrate each discipline.

Supplemental instruction (SI) activities will include LBCC and CSULB student tutors who will work with groups of students by discipline to help them review and master material. The SI component will include online services and assistance as well as on-campus support.

Additionally, both campuses will bolster their career and transfer centers and provide better linkages between the two colleges. These centers will create new on-line services that will provide career and transfer information.

The assessment of learning outcomes activities will focus on faculty on what students should be able to do when they leave the college. The professional expertise of faculty from both LBCC and CSULB will be used in a Learning Outcome Institute for disseminating best practices in assessment.

By clearly articulating expectations and providing opportunities to master them, this learning outcomes component will strengthen the skills and confidence of students when they transfer. Faculty will collaboratively address and enhance learning across the core curriculum to provide students with reinforcement of the fundamentals in learning.

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