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 one of a handful of community colleges 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.”
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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.
This story was updated to reflect that Cuesta College was one of a small number of community colleges to receive the Department of Education grant.