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Lancaster ISD High Education Partner, Cedar Valley College Receives $2.4 Million Federal Grant to Ensure Success of African-American Males in Science, Technology and Math

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lancaster ISD High Education Partner, Cedar Valley College Receives $2.4 Million Federal Grant to Ensure Success of African-American Males in Science, Technology and Math

LANCASTER, Texas, Nov. 12, 2015—Cedar Valley College, one of seven independently accredited colleges that make up the Dallas County Community College District, has been awarded a grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) program. The college will receive $2,452,567 over the next five years to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.

Cedar Valley College plans to use the PBI grant to promote enrollment and participation in STEM programs among young African-American men who reside in communities surrounding the college in Southern Dallas County. The grant will also be used to create positive synergies between Cedar Valley College’s African-American Male Initiative and the recently developed Pipelines and Pathways project, which is designed to promote success for male students of color.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, presented the first installment of the PBI grant to Cedar Valley College at a press conference yesterday in the college’s state-of-the art Math, Science & Allied Health Building. In addition to local business and community leaders, the press conference was attended by the superintendents of Cedar Hill, Lancaster and DeSoto Independent School Districts as well as State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas.

"To address poverty and quality of life issues in our communities, education will play a key role," said Johnson. "I am very pleased to see Cedar Valley College at the forefront of eliminating barriers and providing opportunities for African-American male students to succeed in the STEM fields of math, science and technology. Their STEM education will be key in helping these students to secure good paying jobs in the 21st century."

Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, president of Cedar Valley College, thanked Rep. Johnson for her support and lauded her grant development team for an innovative proposal that resulted in Cedar Valley College being the only Texas institution to receive a PBI grant for this round of funding.

"Our African-American Male Initiative has much in common with President’s Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which was created to provide high-return opportunities for disadvantaged youth," said Wimbish. "We truly believe this opportunity will be a life-changing experience for young African-American men who benefit from this generous grant. It all starts with providing opportunities for success," Wimbish added.

Lancaster ISD has been a partner of Cedar Valley College for a number of years and the campus, which sits next to Lancaster High School, houses many programs that the district’s students take part in. Superintendent Dr. Michael D. McFarland was present for the announcement and highlighted the character and leadership of both Dr. Wimbish and Congresswoman Johnson.

"Both Dr. Wimbish and Congresswoman Johnson are servant leaders who have worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for the Best Southwest and southern sector," he said. "Their legacies here will live on long after they’re gone."

Cedar Valley College’s African-American Male Initiative will target 6,000 students over a five-year period. Anticipated results include a 15 percent increase in the number of African-American males who enroll in STEM courses, with a secondary outcome of ensuring those students complete their Associates degree and acquire marketable knowledge and skills. The program’s overall goal is to improve the college’s African-American male retention rate by 15 percent between year one and two, with a 3 percent increase in the graduation rate from 5 percent to 8 percent over the five-year period.

"Congratulations to Cedar Valley College for securing this important grant that will contribute directly to student success, which is our top priority. With support provided by this grant, our students will be able to graduate with a degree or certificate or to prepare for the next phase of their educational journey," said Dr. Joe D. May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.

For more information on the PBI grant and Cedar Valley College’s African-American Male Initiative, please contact Henry Martinez, director of marketing and public relations at Cedar Valley College, at (972) 860-8142 or hmartinez@dcccd.edu.

The Lancaster Independent School District serves more than 7,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 11 schools. Our vision is that all students achieve self-sustaining success and leave a lasting legacy. And our mission, in collaboration with parents and communities, is to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

422 S. Centre Ave. ● Lancaster, TX 75146 ● (972) 218-1400