MOSES LAKE – Big Bend Community College received a $4.8 million grant to improve its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math services for it professional and technical programs.
Big Bend earned a Title III grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS) from the Department of Education, the largest such grant the school has received in the past eight years.
In 2014, 473 Hispanic students enrolled in STEM programs at Big Bend, an increase of 449 students since the college began tracking enrollments in 2008. Enrollment in college-level math classes is also setting records as it’s more than doubled since 2009.
The new U.S. Department of Education HSI “Transforming STEM Pathways” is a five-year project that not only provides Big Bend’s professional and technical students increased support and peer-mentoring opportunities but also funds the development of two new transferable degree programs in Computer Science and Manufacturing Technology.
The grant contains a matching $345,000 endowment that allows Big Bend to fund its Peer Advocate Coach program and about $2 million for new equipment, including technology in robotics.
Big Bend is eligible to receive grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions because of the demographics and income levels in its service district population. HSI grants have goals and strategies for helping more Hispanic students complete college degrees.
The support services and benefits derived from HSI grants are available to all students and residents of the college’s service district.