College of Alameda Earns $2.9 Million Grant

Courtesy photo &nbsp&nbsp The College of Alameda can now offer its Latinx students more support, thanks to a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

College of Alameda Earns $2.9 Million Grant

At its meeting on Oct. 22, the Peralta Community College District board of trustees announced that College of Alameda has received a United States Department of Education Title V Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Grant. HSI grants are awarded competitively each year to eligible colleges and universities. College of Alameda, the first of the four Peralta colleges to earn this award, submitted its application for the HSI grant last spring and is one of 43 recipients out of 223 applications nationwide this year. The award is for nearly $600,000 per year over a five-year period.

According to the Department of Education, eligible institutions must have at least 25 percent Hispanic students enrolled at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application. The college received the grant based on the diversity of its student body, comprised of 25 percent Latinx, 30 percent Asian, 17 percent African-American and 15 percent White students, representing more than 50 countries of origin.

College of Alameda President Dr. Timothy Karas indicated that the grant will provide resources to develop new services and programs for the college’s Latinx students.

“College of Alameda’s award is consistent with the college’s mission to serve the educational needs of its diverse community by providing comprehensive and flexible programs and resources that empower students to achieve their goals,” he said. “Furthermore, becoming an HSI institution benefits both our campus and our community at large by providing a transformative experience to all students who attend College of Alameda.”

The grant will fund a new project — Adelante con Comunidad, Excelencia, Sabiduría y Oportunidad (ACCESO) — that has been designed to improve Latinx students’ academic success, including, completion of 30 units in the first year and attainment of a certificate, degree or transfer within three years. All Latinx students at the college will receive initial counseling and orientation from ACCESO and long-term, direct support from a counselor. A new ACCESO Center and Club will help shape the community.

“This award comes at a great moment for College of Alameda and for the Peralta Community College District,” said District Chancellor Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud. “With this funding, College of Alameda’s new ACCESO Center and Club will be at the vanguard in the district for implementing strategies to close the equity gap and boost retention and completions for Latinx students.”

The college will also partner with the Puente Project to institute a cohort-based Latinx learning community, offering English and counseling courses, embedded tutoring, mentoring and supporting students’ attainment of at least 30 transferable units in their first year. 

The Puente Project is a national award-winning program that for more than 30 years has improved the college-going rate of thousands of California’s educationally underrepresented students. Also, “smartshops” will be offered — offered free and flexible micro-lessons on academic preparation topics. These include financial planning, budgeting and college financing among others.

To learn more, contact Lilia Celhay, dean, liberal studies and language arts, at or 748-2234.