As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), Cal Poly Pomona has received more than $15 million in federal funds in the past three years to support students, provide valuable educational experiences, and benefit the diverse communities across California.
The HSI designation is given at the federal level to universities with a student body at least 25 percent Hispanic and that is committed to ensuring their success. Nearly half of Cal Poly Pomona’s 27,000 students are Hispanic, and the campus is working to close all equity gaps and ensure every student’s success. Here are just a few highlights of recent HSI grants.
Project Caminos: $3 million
Project Caminos (Cultivating Access and Mentoring through Institutional Networks and Opportunities for Success) will eliminate the equity gap by better preparing under-served students for success and graduation.
The grant will increase access to Cal Poly Pomona for high school and community college students through outreach and financial literacy workshops, campus tours and other support services.
The grant provides funding for the Early Start/Bronco Scholars Program, which provides comprehensive support for students’ transition to CPP, and also from the first year to the second year. Support includes summer math bridge, financial literacy education, holistic advising and coaching, peer and professional support and mentoring, and an artificial intelligence text messaging robot. The plan also calls for faculty development to improve engagement with Hispanic students.
The grant will focus on Hispanic/Latino Cal Poly Pomona students and local area high school and community college students. Visit the Project Caminos webpage for details.
Project STARS: $5 million
The U.S. Department of Education’s HSI STEM program recently awarded $5 million to a new initiative at Cal Poly Pomona called STARS (Student Success and Transfer Articulation through Research and Support Services – An HSI STEM Transformation Project).
The five-year grant includes funding for student research, hiring postdocs to serve as research mentors and establishing an industry advisory board to bring STEM companies into the conversation of student success.
The project will also strengthen the transfer student pathway from Citrus College and Mt. SAC to Cal Poly Pomona. In addition, the campus will partner with the two community colleges to launch a learning community for faculty in STEM fields.
Urban, Community Ag Learning Experiences : $250,000
An interdisciplinary team of faculty is creating learning experiences for students in urban and community agriculture.
The “SoCal Farm to Table: Experiential Learning and Leadership Development in Direct Marketing, Food Safety, Urban and Community Agriculture Project” will recruit students from diverse backgrounds and train them to be leaders and problem solvers in the areas of food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences.
“Urban agriculture is a rapidly growing sector, but urban farmers continue to face challenges,” said Aaron Fox, associate professor of plant science and the project director. “Food safety is a challenge for small-scale farmers who sell directly to consumers. They also may struggle with direct marketing sales.”
USDA awarded the grant through its National Institute of Food & Agriculture/Hispanic Serving Institutions program (NIFA/HSI). Learn more about Farm to Table grant.
No More Silos: $1 million
The “No More Silos” project will provide immersive multi-disciplinary experiences to 100 underrepresented students across the California State University system. CSU students who are interested in careers or graduate school in food, agriculture, natural resources or human sciences are eligible for paid fellowships.
Students will develop scientific and professional skills by engaging in mentored fellowships in science, big-data analytics, agricultural journalism and public policy. In addition, about 80 students will attend a five-day workshop to develop skills in big-data analytics. Students will receive career mentoring and emerge with greater knowledge and skills, improved critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and also personalized roadmaps for their career goals.
Cal Poly Pomona is collaborating with CSU Monterey Bay on the grant. Visit PolyCentric for details about the project.
Project LOGRAR: $2.68 million
Cal Poly Pomona is bolstering support for graduate students through Project LOGRAR (Leveraging Opportunities for Graduate Research and Resources), which will enhance the university’s existing infrastructure and services for primarily Hispanic and underrepresented minorities. Lograr means to achieve in Spanish.
The university will provide financial aid, financial literacy training, tutoring and writing assistance, as well as invite guest speakers from various industries and create a collaborative research experience. The grant will also fund faculty development on strategies for teaching underrepresented students.
Also part of the plan is Graduate Resource Center — both a website and a physical space — where students can network, study and meet. The center will provide internship opportunities, tutoring and academic support, as well as help with thesis writing and quantitative analysis. Read more about Project LOGRAR on PolyCentric.