The USDA has funded a grant to support the "Pipeline to Certified Lactation Counselor" for the Lactation Education program in the Department of Health Sciences. Human Lactation Academic Lead, Associate Professor Merav Efrat, explained that the project is a three-year collaborative project with funding in the amount of $750,000.
"Our collaborating partners are Ventura Community College, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and the Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County," Efrat said. Working on the grant with her will be CSUN faculty Elizabeth Sussman (Family and Consumer Sciences) who will be the nutrition faculty champion, and Myriam Forster (Health Sciences) who will serve as project evaluator. "The overall project goal is to create a pipeline from Ventura Community college to CSUN that results in more Diverse baccalaureate level nutrition graduates that are prepared to enter the workforce as Certified Lactation Counselors, or CLCs," she said.
Project activities will include raising awareness about career opportunities as Certified Lactation Counselors among freshman and sophomore nutrition students at Ventura Community College and CSUN. Students will also learn about the CSUN Minor in Human lactation Program. In addition, plans are to strengthen CSUN’s minor in Human lactation program to align it with the new national CLC credentialling.
The program will also allow the development of opportunities for minor in human lactation program students to participate in hands on learning, leadership skills development, shadowing, mentoring and networking. It will also help faculty implement various student support services including tutoring, advisement and career counseling to improve diverse Ventura community college students' retention and transfer to CSUN rates as well as improving these students’ retention and graduation rates once they are at CSUN.
M. Efrat/CSUN Health Sciences