CSUN is a Bright Spot for Latino Students

Hispanic students graduate in STEM from CSUN.

Latino students in STEM majors graduate from CSUN.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics named California State University, Northridge as one of more than 230 Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, recognizing CSUN’s Attract, Inspire, Mentor and Support Students (AIMS2) program for its leadership and dedication to helping Latina/o students achieve their goals of attaining a STEM education.

This is the 25th anniversary of the WHIEEH, though it is the first time it has released its Bright Spots in Hispanic Education National Online Catalog. The catalog connects participating institutions and enables the exchange of innovative approaches and new practices, as well as the establishing effective partnerships to benefit the Latino community.

“There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and 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,” said Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the Initiative.

AIMS2 is a partnership between CSUN, Glendale Community College and College of the Canyons, and it is supported by a five-year, $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for Latinos in STEM. The program provides students with special peer and faculty mentoring, tutoring, hands-on research and project-based learning, and eventually leads to career counseling and transition to the workforce or graduate-level education.

So far, AIMS2 has helped 187 students to achieve their academic goals, of which 67 percent of students were Latina/o. This Bright Spot focused on retention and improved graduation rates for Latina/o students and underrepresented minorities.

“The AIMS2 program has had a tremendous, positive impact on the lives and careers of our transfer students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college,” said S.K. Ramesh, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Students in our cohorts are role models, taking on leadership roles in professional student societies, mentoring and supporting one another, and serve the community by volunteering in elementary and middle schools to inspire future engineers and computer scientists.

“I am really proud of the students and the entire project team of faculty and staff across Glendale Community College, College of the Canyons and CSUN for their outstanding contributions that makes AIMS2 one of the 230 Bright Spots in Hispanic Education across the nation and just one of the two selected from across the CSU system.”

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