COC awarded $125,000 federal grant to support MESA program

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News release  

College of the Canyons has received a $125,000 subaward grant as part of a $3 million Title V grant awarded to CSUN from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of Hispanic and underrepresented students in art, health sciences, engineering, computer science and STEM disciplines. 

In collaboration with California State University, Northridge, and L.A. Pierce College, COC will support “Strengthening Equitable Culturally Responsive Environments (SECURE) for Student Success (SfS2)” through its Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program. 

“We are so excited to have been awarded this grant providing culturally responsive training, facilitators for Academic Excellence Workshops, and tutors in support of our students,” Amy Foote, MESA director at the college, said in a news release. “This grant will allow us to better serve students who wish to pursue careers in STEM fields.” 

The grant award will be used to increase enrollment, improve retention and graduation rates, as well as eliminate equity gaps, the release said, adding that COC’s MESA program will develop culturally enhancing academic experiences to support mental health, emotional wellbeing and academic outcomes.= 

In addition, MESA will work to expand and enhance curriculum, research fellowships, and culturally relevant, work-based learning experiences in in-demand industry sectors, as well as provide proactive advisement and mentoring, the release said. 

In 2023, COC was ranked nationally No. 18 and 31 in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine for enrolling the largest number of Hispanic students and granting the most degrees, respectively. 

According to National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System data, the college had a Hispanic population of 13,631 students, totaling 48.8% of the total student enrollment, which was 27,936 in the year 2021-22.  

For more information about the college’s MESA program, visit the program’s webpage at 

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