California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) has been awarded two new grants by the US Education Department totaling $8 million. The funds will be used to continue supporting the university’s work to assist Latinx students and other learners from underrepresented communities.
The first, a $3 million Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) grant, will go toward increasing educational opportunities for Latinx students, supporting them until they graduate. The money will be used to start a new project focusing on financial wellness, early-career preparedness, career planning, and work-based learning.
“This DHSI grant provides resources not readily available to help students succeed throughout their academic journeys to help them achieve their career and financial goals,” CSUS Career Center Director and Grant Co-Director Melissa Repa said.
The second grant will be a $5 million STEM grant given to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and will fund “STEM4Equity,” a program to increase the number of STEM graduates from minority communities.
“STEM4Equity aspires to transform STEM education at Sac State by creating equity and workplace relevance in courses, student peer programs, and degree programs,” said Lynn Tashiro, principal investigator for the grant. “The program brings resources to the University that will enable faculty to create equitable learning environments and expand the curriculum to give students real-world skills.”
Rewarding the University’s Cause
The Education Department announced that these grants are only given to colleges and universities recognized as HSIs to show commitment to diversity, equity, and opportunity. Around 30 percent of students attending CSUS identify as Latinx and the new funds bring the university’s total funding to $14.5 million since 2015.
“A key part of our work to become an antiracist and inclusive campus is to enact systemic changes that eliminate inequities and promote our students’ success, and the projects funded by these grants will do just that,” remarked University President Robert Nelsen.
“That Sacramento State has received not just one but two HSI grants is a testament to the work being done by our faculty and staff not only to help our students realize their dream of a college degree but prepare them to have successful and fulfilling careers after graduation,” he concluded.