Campus: CSU, San Bernardino -- September 28, 1999

Cal State San Bernardino Lands Federal Education Grant As An Hispanic-Serving Institution

Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-40) and Al Karnig, president of Cal State, San Bernardino, report that CSUSB is the recipient of a $2 million federal grant that will enhance the university's deliverance of distance education and scholarships to students, more than one fourth of whom are Hispanic. Having been designated as an Hispanic-serving institution with an undergraduate enrollment that exceeds 25 percent, Cal State was one of 95 colleges and universities eligible to apply for funding.

More than $1.8 million is granted over a five-year period to further develop Cal State's "distributed learning network," which provides courses to site-bound students via videoconferencing and the Internet. "The Hispanic-Serving Institution grant program is one of the most effective uses of federal education funds, with each dollar invested showing a dramatic return in higher education levels now and in future generations,'' Congressman Jerry Lewis said. "These grants are especially valuable for schools like Cal State, San Bernardino, which are on the front lines of offering educational opportunity to those who need and desire it the most."

Collaboration with 10 community colleges in San Bernardino and Riverside counties will be essential to the project's success, according to Dr. Susan M. Cooper, interim director of distributed learning. She and Dr. Judith M. Rymer, professor of education, co-authored the grant proposal. Dr. Daniel Whitaker, coordinator of the Liberal Studies program and professor of Spanish, will serve as the activity manager. Services such as advising, career counseling, financial aid preparation and registration will be bolstered in order to improve the matriculation of students. Materials will be prepared for online use in multiple formats that are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, Cooper said. "Our region is well below the national average for high school graduates who go on to college," stated Karnig. "Given the size of the Inland Empire, distance learning services may be an important way that the college-going rate in San Bernardino-Riverside counties can be improved. Better delivery of educational services is bound to increase graduation rates, as well."

Scholarships are another way to boost college attendance and persistence, so the grant proposed and has secured more than $165,000 for the development of an endowment that will raise unrestricted scholarship funds for low-income students, in particular. This fund will be matched one-to-one with corporate and individual contributions raised by Cal State.

In addition, just over $76,000 will be allotted to the university's fundraising operation to upgrade the computer tracking systems and designate responsibilities for raising scholarship monies among the development officers.

"All of these activities have long-term consequences for the university and the region, where the population of Hispanics will continue to rise," Karnig said. "It is incumbent upon Cal State to do what it can to make sure that the citizens of the region are aware of the educational opportunities provided and of the programs that await them."

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