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California Baptist University Awarded $3 Million for Hispanic Student Success Program

New Program aims to boost retention and graduation rates among Hispanic and low-income students

Photo courtesy California Baptist University.

California Baptist University (CBU) has secured a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to launch a program that bolsters educational outcomes for Hispanic and low-income students. The program, Preparados para el Exito (“Prepared for Success” in Spanish), will span five years and aims to enhance retention and degree completion rates among these demographics.

Preparados para el Exito will primarily focus on two segments of the student population: commuter students and those in the pre-nursing program. The university plans to set up a Commuter Engagement Center and a Peer Mentorship Program to offer academic and other support services to commuter students, many of whom are Hispanic.

The pre-nursing program at CBU, which has a high percentage of Hispanic and commuter students, experiences a higher dropout rate than other fields. The new grant will fund comprehensive support services such as a summer bridge program, academic success coaches, and tutoring and advising for pre-nursing students.

Dr. Charles D. Sands, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at CBU, stated, “Through the development of additional support and engagement opportunities, we can improve success rates among Hispanic students and begin to close equity gaps in student learning and success.” The objectives of Preparados para el Exito are in line with CBU’s Assessment Strategic Plan 2025, which includes goals like closing educational equity gaps and securing funding to address the Hispanic student achievement gap.

Paul Eldridge, vice president for University Advancement, added, “We look forward to the outcomes of this program on the futures of these students, especially those within the nursing degree, for which there is great demand in our region.”

CBU received its Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation in 2011. As of Fall 2022, over 40% of the student body identified as Hispanic.

Founded in 1950, California Baptist University offers more than 100 majors and has a variety of graduate and doctoral programs. The university is affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention and is a member of various academic associations.