College of the Canyons has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the chancellor of the California Community Colleges to fund a Native American Student Support and Success Program.
Effective in July, the five-year grant will allow the college to ensure the educational success of Native American students and strengthen K–12 pathways to and through the California Community College system, including student transfer to the University of California and the California State University systems.
In addition, the NASSSP grant will connect students with Native American mentors to empower and develop leadership skills.
Currently, the college has a Native American and Indigenous Alliance, which helps Native American students learn to navigate college, connect with COC mentors, meet with counselors and financial aid advisors, and discuss issues in a safe and welcoming space.
“We are very excited to have been one of 20 colleges to have received this grant in support of Native American students,” said Diane Fiero, deputy chancellor and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the college. “We are committed to ensuring that all students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed academically.”
The grant will allow the college to expand its services to NAIA students by hiring a full-time NASSSP coordinator.
COC plans to work with local tribes to develop an NASSSP plan as part of its objectives.