Congressman Jared Huffman

Representing the 2nd District of California

Rep. Huffman Announces $4 million Grant to Help Humboldt State University Serve Hispanic and Low-Income Students in STEM Fields

Sep 30, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON­— Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today announced a major federal grant for Humboldt State University (HSU) to improve and expand the university’s capacity to help Hispanic and low-income students graduate. The U.S. Department of Education grant spans five years, and will fund tutoring, a new approach to math instruction, and other best practices to ensure students attain degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM.)

“Humboldt State University is addressing a growing need to better serve Hispanic, Native American, and low-income students to help them achieve their educational goals,” Rep. Huffman said. “This vital funding will help students thrive in critical STEM fields, which is good for their future career success, as well as for the economy and the nation as a whole. I’m grateful the Department of Education is making this investment in HSU and our entire community.”

“With this new grant, we are excited to work with faculty, staff, and community partners to substantively improve the educational experience for all STEM students at HSU, especially for those from Hispanic, Native American, and other backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the sciences,” said HSU Professor of Wildlife Management Matt Johnson.

HSU plans to use this new funding to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students attaining Bachelor of Science degrees in STEM fields through implementing four core program components:

1.      place-based learning communities;

2.      enhanced and integrated tutoring services;

3.      a new co-curricular approach to math developmental instruction and;

4.      strengthened relationships with three 2-year Hispanic-Servinginstitutions.

Currently, the 4-year graduation rate for incoming STEM freshmen is 10% overall, 5% for Hispanic students, and 7% for low-income students.  This grant will be used to help close the 14% gap in retention rates of Hispanic and low-income students, compared to all STEM students at HSU.

Since 2010, there has been a 98% increase in Hispanic students at HSU, which now qualifies for the Hispanic-serving institutions program administered by the Department of Education.