The U.S. Department of Education, Postsecondary Education has recently awarded Butte College a $697,852 Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant.
The FIPSE grants are awarded to postsecondary institutions that develop programs which support reforms, innovations and improvements of postsecondary education that specifically respond to problems of national significance and serve as national models.
This three-year grant will establish Butte’s new Teaching for Rural Academic Basic Achievement and Job Opportunities (TRABAJO) program designed to fight unemployment and build career ladders for Hispanic minorities in Butte and Glenn counties.
“Our rural service area, like other rural areas in the nation, has a growing Hispanic agriculture workforce population that is traditionally at the lower end of the education, employment and income scale. The FIPSE grant provides the funding to institute the TRABAJO program which will allow us to better serve this population by providing specific certificate course pathways to improve their postsecondary education and job placement success,” said Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg, Butte College President.
Through the grant, the college will develop Vocational English as Second Language (VESL) certificate courses in: sustainable agriculture, automotive technology, certified nursing assistants, child development, health information technology and green construction/clean energy for associate’s degrees along with university transfer pathways.
“We will be working with powerful partners within the private sector, state systems, high schools, other community and four-year colleges, businesses and associations, including the Farm Workers Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD),” said Van Der Ploeg. “These partnerships will assist us in developing effective strategies for sustaining the program beyond the federal funding.”
The goal of the grant is to train more than 300 adult students over a three-year period; replicate the program at two additional California community colleges; and disseminate the program offerings to 20 additional rural community colleges nationwide.