News Release
  September 30, 2004


Mission College in Sylmar has been awarded a five-year, $2 million+ grant to address the problem of poor math skills among college students.

Announcement of the grant from the U.S. Department of Education was made jointly by Mission College President Adriana Barrera and Representative Brad Sherman (D-24th).

The funds will allow Mission College to establish a state-of-the art math center within its existing Learning Resource Center and Library. The grant also provides funding for instructional and support services designed to improve the math performance of students.

"The failure to master math essentials keeps many students from pursuing the career goals they set for themselves," said Dr. Barrera. "It’s become a locked gateway for too many of our students."

The grant is funded through September 2009. First year funding is pegged at $514,133. Specific funding amounts in each of the next four years are undetermined, but the total, five-year funding is expected to exceed $2 million, said Dr. Barrera.

The math center is envisioned as an ultra-modern resource staffed by trained tutors assisted in their work by the latest software technologies and computer-assisted tutorials.

In addition to creating the math center, the grant also will allow Mission College to develop programming systems that will better track students who are not succeeding; improve the referral of these students to appropriate counseling or other support services; train college instructors and tutors in new, innovative methods of working with unprepared students; and create an instructors’ resource center that will offer professional development activities and workshops in the "best practices" available for the teaching of math to unprepared students.

Application for the grant was based on Mission College research showing that less than two percent of the student population is prepared for college-level math.

The grant is being awarded under the U.S. Department of Education Title V Strengthening Institutions - Hispanic Serving Institutions Program. Mission College serves an enrollment that is two-thirds Hispanic, and nearly 40 percent of the students have a primary language other than English.

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