Cuesta College plans to create an expanded program for Hispanic students interested in becoming K-12 teachers after the school was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, a move aimed at improving diversity among California teachers.
Cuesta is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and was the only community college in California to receive the grant.
More than a third of Cuesta College’s student population is Hispanic; an HSI designation requires total Hispanic enrollment of at least 25 percent.
“With this funding, Cuesta College proudly solidifies its identity and reputation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” Cuesta Superintendent/President Gil Stork said in a news release provided by the school. “We are dedicated to providing access to higher education for all who seek it, and this is another significant opportunity to fulfill that vision.”
Students interested in a teaching degree or certification will receive additional support, in the form of “guided pathways toward earning a teaching credential, a bilingual academic success coach, faculty mentors and more,” the release says.
Cuesta will receive the grant money in the form of annual $500,000 payments, disbursed over a five-year span.