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Lone Star College receives largest single grant in system history

HOUSTON (Oct. 12, 2011) – Lone Star College System has been awarded the Hispanic Serving Institutions Program’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) grant for $4,349,500 over the next five years.                 

LSCS received notice last week of the U.S. Department of Education award from Sen. John Cornyn’s office. This is the single largest grant LSCS has ever received.

The HSI-STEM grant provides assistance to Hispanic-serving institutions to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students. It is part of the national Hispanic Serving Institution Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The HSI Program grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.

A Hispanic-serving institution is defined as an institution of higher education that has at least 25 percent Hispanic students as part of its undergraduate enrollment at the end of the award year preceding the date of the application.

The HSI Program grants also help these institutions expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability.

The grant awarded to Lone Star College, called Math Success, will be housed at LSC-North Harris, where more than 30 percent of its enrolled students are Hispanic.

As designated by the Department of Education, the grant may be used for scientific or laboratory equipment for teaching, the construction or renovation of facilities, purchasing educational materials, academic tutoring or counseling programs, teacher education, and student support services.

LSCS will partner with the University of Houston to improve math students’ success in completion, especially by Hispanic students who statistics show traditionally don’t take higher level math classes.

“In Texas, only 10 percent of seventh-grade Hispanic students complete a college credential within six years of scheduled high school graduation,” said Dr. Steve Head, president of LSC-North Harris. “We need to focus on the 71 percent of Hispanic students who are in community colleges in Texas and help them to receive credentials in order to better compete in a global marketplace. “

Students will benefit from the tutoring and peer assistance in conjunction with the UH math department to encourage completion and transfer opportunities for students who want to get a degree from the University of Houston in mathematics. Students will also be exposed to guest speakers who use higher level mathematics in their professions as a way to show the students how math is used for real-world jobs.

The project includes extensive faculty development, course revisions, increased access online, and installation of interactive instruction resources in the new Math Center being created at LSC-North Harris as part of the grant.

“With the cuts to the Federal and State budgets, grants are harder and harder to obtain,” said Jonathan Durfield, LSCS associate vice chancellor of government affairs and institutional advancement. “Math Success is special for Lone Star College System because not only is it the largest, single grant in LSCS history but it also meets our overall mission.

“We are working with our community partners to expose these students to very real and obtainable jobs in the Houston area, where they can put what they are learning to use and give back to the community,” Durfield said.

More than 100 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) will receive a total of $107.4 million to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for Latino students, including 21 higher education institutions in Texas. 

Lone Star College will get $869,900 for the first year to successfully implement the Math Success project up to the $4,349,500 for subsequent years.

With more than 75,000 students in credit classes for fall 2011, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit http://www.lonestar.edu/.