SBCC receives $3 M Title V Grant benefitting Hispanic students

Melissa+Menendez%2C+English+department+chair+and+City+College%E2%80%99s+new+Title+V+Grant+Director%2C+outside+of+the+Campus+Center+on+Sept.+28+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+The+Title+V+Grant+is+awarded+to+schools+with+histories+of+serving+underprivileged+and+underrepresented+students+to+succeed+academically+and+move+on+to+the+next+phase+of+their+higher+education.

August Lawrence

Melissa Menendez, English department chair and City College’s new Title V Grant Director, outside of the Campus Center on Sept. 28 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Title V Grant is awarded to schools with histories of serving underprivileged and underrepresented students to succeed academically and move on to the next phase of their higher education.

Kiki Reyes, News Editor

After being rejected the year prior, City College was awarded 3 million dollars earlier this month through the Title V grant, which will fund a new student success center under the working title “RISE.”

The grant is meant to improve Hispanic-serving institutions and provide Hispanic students opportunities for education, as well as to help enhance those opportunities by improving programs and teaching quality. It will be spent over the next five years.

“We applied for spring 2020 and we were not awarded, but the department of education found out they had extra money left over,” said Title V Grant Director and English department chair Melissa Menendez.

Grant requirements include being a legitimate institution with the enrollment of full-time undergraduate Hispanic students at least 25% at the end of the award year.

Last year, City College got rejected for this grant because of other “stronger” applicants.

The money will be used to create a new student success center catered to the Hispanic student population, but accessible to all.

“The purpose is to develop a student success center for students to access educational development, peer mentors, have help with enrollment, and provide students with the information they need,” Menendez said.

According to an email from the City College Grant’s Office to the Academic Senate, the grant will focus on 5 objectives including:

  • Expanding outreach, enrollment, and academic planning
  • Increase completion in transfer-level English and math courses
  • Increase first to second-year retention
  • Decreased time to degree completion
  • Increase transfer rates

Menendez, who was just selected to be the grant director on Sept. 23, revealed her plans for grant proposal revisions.

“I’m facilitating the work and bringing people together. I will bring [the stakeholders] together to see what revision should be made for the proposal,” she said. 

The proposal, which is not available to the public, will be reevaluated to make certain it’s representing low-income Hispanic students. The reason for the revisions is because it hasn’t been updated in 2 years.

The grant was awarded on Sept. 1 and goes into effect from Oct. 1 to Sept. 2026.