A grant has been awarded to the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) School of Education in Westchester and Mission College in Sylmar to help increase the number of Hispanic and other minority teachers in California.

The two schools are to jointly receive a five-year, $3.5 million Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

According to recent data, nearly 50 percent of Los Angeles County’s student population is Hispanic, while only 14 percent of the county’s 6,000 teachers are Hispanic, says an LMU source.

“Our primary purpose with this grant is to get more Hispanic teachers,” said Shane Martin, dean of the School of Education at LMU. “We need to balance the ratio between the growing number of Hispanic students and the lack of Hispanic teachers.

“We will provide whatever support is necessary to develop student outreach and recruitment strategies.”

Mission College president Ernest H. Moreno said, “This grant gives us the resources we need to succeed in three critically important areas”:

– the development of articulation and transfer agreements with LMU and other four-year colleges;

– the retention of our students and their successful transfer to four-year colleges; and

– the graduation of more Hispanic and minority students, specifically with teacher education credentials.

“I am confident that over the next five years of the grant, our team at Mission College will succeed in significantly increasing the numbers of our students who graduate with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree and then successfully transfer to four-year colleges,” Moreno said. “We are committed to working as a team with LMU, encouraging our Hispanic and minority students to pursue a four-year degree in teacher education at their college campus.”

In order to achieve goals and objectives of the Title V grant, funds allocated to both Mission College and LMU will be used to strengthen academic enrichment and support for Hispanic students.

Included are intervention programs, financial aid and scholarships, academic enrichment and tutoring, counseling, outreach and transfer support services and career counseling.

At the completion of the grant period, a comprehensive “summative evaluation” will be prepared.

The evaluation will analyze the grant’s original objectives against actual accomplishments.

In addition, an independent external evaluation will be conducted by Lighthouse Consulting, a higher education evaluation firm with Title V evaluation experience.