CSUN’s AIMS2 Program Named One of 'White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics' Bright Spots in Hispanic Education
Celebrating Latino Progress in Education
Northridge, CA, September 15, 2015 – CSUN’s AIMS2 program (Attract, Inspire, Mentor and Support Students) is honored to announce its recognition as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) for its leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to the Hispanic/Latino community. In celebration of the Initiative’s Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ 25th anniversary, the AIMS2 Program will be part of the WHIEEH's first-ever Bright Spots in Hispanic Education National Online Catalog, which includes over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics/Latinos.
The AIMS2 program is a collaborative grant between the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUN, Glendale Community College, and the College of the Canyons and is supported through a 5 year, $ 5.5 Million the HSI-STEM Initiative from the US Department of Education. The program led by Dean Ramesh and faculty and staff from the partner institutions has made huge strides to address the academic needs of students in the cohort, that includes proactive academic advisement and tracking, organized tutoring, peer and faculty mentoring, hands on research opportunities and project based learning, career advising and eventual transition to the workforce or advanced studies. Students in the cohort are supported with stipends to motivate and inspire them to succeed. The key area addressed by this bright spot is the retention and improved graduation of Latino/a students and under-represented minorities in engineering and computer science.
By way of example of some of the innovative undergraduate projects, students in the cohort were invited by the US Department of Education to create a collaborative web portal where all HSI-STEM grantees across the country can share their best practices and collaborate. The students successfully developed and implemented the portal which is now accessible to all grantees. The students also presented a poster on their work at the system wide CSU STEM summit in April 2015 and at the CAHSI Summit in September 2015. The AIMS² program has served a total of 187 students to date, approximately 67 % Latino. This includes 100 first-time transfer students at California State University Northridge (CSUN), 45 students at GCC, and 42 students at COC.
WHIEEH seeks to leverage these Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for educational attachment of the Hispanic/Latino community, from cradle to career.
The announcement was made by Alexandra Ceja, Executive Director of the Initiative on September 15, 2015 at the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month in Washington, D.C. “There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement,” said Ceja. “It is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential.”