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Photo: Big Bend Community College

MOSES LAKE - The Department of Education awarded a $3 million grant that will benefit Hispanic students Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.

The large sum will be spread out over the next five years to help expand educational opportunities and access to services for Latinos attending the college.

Big Bend Community College is classified as a Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI), qualifying it to receive the federal Title V grant; the grant is purposed to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability to low-income and Hispanic students.

The grant became effective in October.

Big Bend Director of Title V Grant Tammy Napiontek says the grant will fund initiatives which include the development of a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management degree, a campus internet capacity to use eLearning for course and student services delivery, and instructional materials and technology for students. These initiatives will help the college better serve students in an online or hybrid capacity. In addition, the grant will support the development and delivery of student support services for evening and online students.

“The program will position working adults in the region for managerial jobs, it makes sense to make services available to them when they can access them,” said Napiontek. “Other projects supported by the new Title V grant is the development of a new employee onboarding program, and professional development opportunities for staff and faculty.

Big Bend faculty will earn the ESCALA certificate in College Teaching and Learning in Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the only teaching program in the country that focuses on increasing Latinx student success.

ESCALA, Spanish for "striving," is a consortium of higher education consultants who work specifically with Hispanic-Serving Institutions to close the gap in educational access and completion rates for Latinos, mainly through faculty development programming and remedial program evaluation. ​

“We are incredibly excited and grateful for the next five years to expand access to educational opportunities to our service district, and our faculty and staff,” said Napiontek. “Big Bend is committed to providing the tools to better meet the needs of our students and greater overall student success.”