Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Arts & Letters recently received a U.S. Department of Education Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division grant, and part of it will be used to assist San Bernardino Valley College and Norco College students.
This five-year, $3 million federal grant will give upper-division CSUSB students the chance to mentor arts and humanities students at SBVC and Norco College, helping them prepare for life at a four-year university.
Brian Heisterkamp, a CSUSB professor of communication studies, said STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs regularly receive funding, and “we wanted to make the argument that arts and humanities needs support as well and so what we’re doing is focusing on career readiness and academic success of students in those disciplines.”
Through the grant, the community college students will also receive counseling services from CSUSB, while their families can take advantage of a special outreach program that teaches them about the ins and outs of higher education, from financial aid to where to get books for classes. Heisterkamp said he recently spoke with a student whose family told her it isn’t necessary to do homework, and this was “shocking. But I think that she’s not alone in that some families aren’t aware of what it takes outside of the classroom to be successful.” By working with the families, they’ll learn “things that you can do to help your student be successful, to reach the goal of degree attainment,” Heisterkamp said.