COM receives $600,000 Gulf Coast PASS Grant

Posted on: February 14, 2012

College of the Mainland has been awarded a $600,000 Gulf Coast PASS grant
to implement new strategies to increase the success of students who enroll unprepared for
college credit courses in Math or English.

The grant, managed by the Community College Leadership Program at
The University of Texas at Austin, is made possible by Houston Endowment.

“A large percentage of entering students are unprepared for College Algebra, for example,
and currently must take up to four non-credit developmental math courses before enrolling
in algebra,” COM interim president Dr. Larry Durrence said. “This grant will, among
other things, enable us to transform the way we teach math and enable students to
accelerate through developmental math and reduce their time to complete a degree.”

The grant will also assist the college in developing a more seamless K-12 to college
transition, which will provide improved access to, and success in, college.
COM, along with other area community colleges is working to achieve student success
through Achieving the Dream (ATD).

The grant includes partners such as Hitchcock Independent School District, Houston A+
Challenge and The Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC).

“Hitchcock ISD is very excited to be a part of this grant. Our thanks and gratitude go out to
College of  the Mainland for everything they do for our students,” said Hitchcock ISD Director
of Curriculum and Instruction Evangelina Guerra.

COM’s partnership with Hitchcock ISD will focus on increasing college readiness through
introduction of a student success course, mentoring and tutoring programs and creating a
college-going culture. It will also involve aligning curriculums between COM and area high
schools, increasing awareness of financial-aid options and providing assistance in
completing college applications.

“Our focus at COM is building upon the excellent foundation built during the Achieving the
Dream initiative,” COM Vice President for Instruction Amy Locklear said. “We must
take the steps needed to help all students, especially those who are low income and those
who are first-generation college students.”

COM was awarded Leader College status by ATD, a national initiative to help more community college students succeed, particularly low income students and students of color. Each ATD institution identifies student populations that currently experience low rates of success, develops interventions to improve student outcomes, and measures changes in student success.

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