MARCH 13, 2003
CONTACT:Becky Zelinski, 661/664-2138, bzelinski@csub.edu
Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

California State University, Bakersfield has recently been awarded nearly $8 million in grant funds which will assist in advancing higher education in Kern County. According to Janice Chavez, CSUB’s interim dean of Graduate Studies and Research who heads up the grants and contracts division, the university has received six federal grants that will assist with everything from improving infrastructure to providing student tutoring, while strengthening community partnerships.

“Through the grant writing process, we are required to determine the critical needs of the university and the community, and then the grant funds help us to meet those needs,” Chavez said. “Some of the areas identified (as critical needs) were providing a more streamlined transfer and advising process, enhancing faculty development and expanding library and technology resources.”

The six grants include two Title V grants totaling $5.3 million; the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program for $1.1 million; a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities Program grant for $600,000; a nursing grant totaling $500,000; and a Cesar Chavez grant for $160,000.

In light of the state’s current budget reductions, CSUB Provost Jim George said the grants come at a critical time.

“All of these grants are important,” George said. “But specifically the Title V collaborative grant will allow us to improve our articulation and transfer arrangements with Bakersfield College and help CSUB continue its efforts to ensure that our students graduate in a timely fashion and graduate with appropriate skills that are needed in this region.

“Together, the grants represent this university’s determination and desire to collaborate with the community, and shows that whether it’s with the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter or Bakersfield College or Bakersfield City School District, CSUB intends to be a good partner,” he added.

The two Title V grants are geared toward four-year, public, federally designated Hispanic Service Institutions and will help the university better serve Hispanics and members of other under-represented groups. One is a three-year individual award of nearly $2.2 million that will develop an OASIS center on campus (One-stop Academic Success and Integrated Services Center), enhance faculty development through diversity training, expand multicultural library resources and internship opportunities, and help students develop skills in computer and information resources literacy.

The second Title V grant is a cooperative grant with Bakersfield College. This five-year program will help streamline and shorten the transfer process for students coming from the two-year college, support the integration of the Centers for Teaching and Learning at the two institutions, and provide additional English as Second Language (ESL) classes.

The HUD and Cesar Chavez grants are also collaborative grants. Through the HUD grant, the CSUB Child, Adolescent and Family Studies department will partner with the Bakersfield Homeless Center to create a Family Resource Center that includes an education and social development program called “Champ Camp” and a Literacy Center. The Cesar Chavez grant is a partnership between CSUB and the Bakersfield City, Fairfax and North Beardsley school districts to develop service learning projects at the schools and help educate elementary school-age children about Cesar Chavez and the impact he had on their community.

The McNair post-baccalaureate program is a five-year grant that will help prepare undergraduates for graduate programs. The nursing grant program is titled Increase Nurses Now, and is designed to increase recruitment, retention, and successful completion of the nursing program by ethnically diverse, educationally and/or socio-economically disadvantaged students.