Rep. Cisneros announces $945,000 DOE Student Support Services grants for CA-39 colleges

Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) announced a total of $945,000 Department of Education (DOE) grants for California State University, Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, and Mt. San Antonio Community College. The grants are distributed from the DOE’s Student Support Services Program to provide academic and other support services to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students to increase students’ retention and graduation rates, facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges, and foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

“As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I know how difficult navigating higher education can be. However, I cannot imagine the challenges our students are facing having to start a new semester during a health crisis. Right now, they need all the support they can get to succeed,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I’m proud to announce these $945,000 Student Support Services grants for CSUF, Cal Poly Pomona, and Mt. SAC. This will go a long way in helping our college and university staff better assist our students, especially low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities.”

“As the director of TRIO Student Support Services, I am thrilled to continue serving first generation and low-income Cal State Fullerton students to ensure they graduate with their bachelor’s degree,” said Lili Tautolo, CSUF Director of Trio Student Support Services. “TRIO SSS has a long successful history at Cal State Fullerton since 1992. Last reporting cycle in 2018-19 the program celebrated 96% of students persisted to enroll each year, 94% of all students achieved good academic standing and 42 TRIO SSS students graduated in 2019-20. I am passionate to promote higher education to first generation students as a way to improve quality of life for their present and families’ future.

“ARCHES creates a scaffolding of services for students with disabilities at Cal Poly Pomona to successfully navigate their academic journey and reach their goals. ARCHES provides a safe space for our students to have honest conversations about the challenges and stigmas they experience as a person with a disability,” said Patricia Durán-Quezada, Cal Poly Pomona Director of A.R.C.H.E.S. (Achievement, Retention, and Commitment to Higher Education Success) TRiO Support Services.

“During these uncertain times, ACES Program will continue to foster a college-completing atmosphere that leads to increased student success by implementing a holistic approach to student development. This holistic approach utilizes an asset-based methodology in a cohort-based model focusing on student strengths to help them succeed and grow,” said Victor Rojas, Jr., Mt. SAC Director of TRIO Programs. “Additionally, during the closure of our campus due to COVID-19, we will continue to offer individualized counseling, cultural enrichment activities, peer mentoring, career exploration, personal enrichment and leadership workshops, along with virtual college visits.”


California State University, Fullerton: $348,002
Cal Poly Pomona Foundation: $335,110
Mt. San Antonio Community College: $261,888

TOTAL: $945,000

This article was released by the Office of Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr.