LAMC Receives $4.9M Grant to Boost Latino STEM Degrees

Posted on: 10/6/2021

Dean Carlos Gonzalez Liliana Islas, PhD
 Carlos Gonzalez, Dean of Student Services, was the lead author of LAMC's Title III grant.  Liliana Islas, PhD, was a co-author of LAMC's Title III grant.

LAMC Receives $4.9M Grant to Boost Latino STEM Degrees

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Los Angeles Mission College a $4.9 million grant to increase the number of Latino and low-income students who receive a degree in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), college officials announced today.

The STEM Mission’s Excellence Towards the Advancement of Students (METAS) grant will help fund L.A. Mission College’s efforts to boost the number of Latino STEM majors through 2026, said Interim College President Armida Ornelas, PhD.

“As a Hispanic-Serving Institution with an 80 percent Latino population, we couldn’t be more motivated by this wonderful news,” Dr. Ornelas said. “We know the importance of expanding equity in the STEM fields, and this grant will enable us to further support these efforts.”

The Title III HSI grant will be used to fund Academic and Student Support Services; STEM professional development; and resource development, according to Carlos Gonzalez, L.A. Mission College's dean of student success who was the grant's lead writer.

“By focusing on these three areas, we hope to improve enrollment, retention, and student success,” Gonzalez said. "We’re also investing in training our faculty to develop and strengthen learning communities and deliver culturally responsive curriculum.”

Over time, the college hopes to reduce the amount of time it takes students to complete a degree and transfer.

"This grant will help increase student retention and persistence, increase transfer rates to STEM programs at four-year institutions, and increase the GPAs of minority STEM students so they qualify for honor programs," Gonzalez said.

Liliana Islas, PhD, who co-wrote the grant, said the college will establish a STEM Alumni Association and Endowment to develop further resources for students.

"We want to create a network for successful STEM students to come back to Mission and share their experience and resources with the next batch of Latino STEM majors," Islas said.

L.A. Mission College offers the following STEM degrees: Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Health Science, Mathematics, Pharmacy Technician, Physics and more.

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