The University Economic Development Association (UEDA) has selected CSUN’s AIMS2 program as the Talent category winner in its 2021 Awards of Excellence program.
AIMS2 is a collaborative, multi-institutional program focused on increasing the academic success of Hispanic and students with low incomes in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSUN.
The program’s name stands for Attract, Inspire, Mentor and Support Students, and it is dedicated to increasing enrollment and graduation rates, improving transfer success and closing achievement gaps for Hispanic and low-income students in the engineering and computer science fields. AIMS2 uses a cohort-based model and high-impact academic practices, including faculty and peer mentoring, tutoring and student research participation.
“AIMS2 is all about community and engagement,” said S. K. Ramesh, professor of electrical and computer engineering and founding director of the program. “Our team of faculty and staff is changing the way engineering is taught, with culturally enhancing pedagogy, mentoring, and student participation in undergraduate research. This augurs well for our collective future with the emerging CSUN Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub to accelerate educational equity, increase student success and equip Latinx and other historically underserved students with skills for high-demand careers in STEM fields.”
UEDA’s Awards of Excellence are presented in recognition of outstanding economic development initiatives, research or accomplishments. The participants are identified nationally as a prestigious group of global economic development innovators, demonstrating originality, scalability and applicability in solving unique and significant challenges facing communities today.
The Talent category focuses on programs that teach people how to thrive in the 21st century through lifelong learning programs, experiential education and discovery-based learning.
Recognized as the 2019 Example of Excelencia in baccalaureate programs by Excelencia in Education, AIMS2 keeps winning accolades, highlighting the program’s commitment to transfer success, degree completion and career preparation for many first-generation students.
Since its inception in 2011 — when the program began working with Glendale Community College and College of the Canyons — and thanks to two consecutive Title III U.S. Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution grants, AIMS2 has been able to expand and serve multiple cohorts of students at two more community colleges, Moorpark and Los Angeles Pierce College, as well as CSUN freshmen. To date, that includes over 500 students at CSUN and 3,000 students at the partner community colleges.