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UC San Diego, San Diego Community College District Receive Combined $2.7M from Mellon Foundation

PATH Students at Career CenterSupport will increase undergraduate and graduate student success in the humanities

With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of California San Diego and San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) are building a pipeline of successful undergraduate and graduate students, resulting in a new generation of leaders who will reshape the value and meaning of an education in the humanities in the 21st century.

The two regional institutions received a combined $2.7 million in grants that will both expand an established, transformational program for transfer students and launch an initiative specific to career training for Ph.D. students — training that addresses a key need in employment after graduation.

“UC San Diego challenges itself to take bold actions that ensure world-class learning is accessible and affordable for all,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our long-standing partnership with SDCCD has helped further this goal by providing cost-effective entry into higher education and excellent training pathways to bachelor’s, graduate and post-graduate degrees. The Mellon Foundation grants will expand opportunities for students to improve their futures and the futures of their families.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest funder in arts and culture, and humanities in higher education. For the joint proposal, the foundation awarded two separate grants: $1.5 million to UC San Diego and $1.2 million to SDCCD, with programming to begin January 2020.

Serving as leads on the development and implementation of the grants are UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities Dean Cristina Della Coletta and SDCCD Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services Stephanie Bulger. Della Coletta and Bulger will oversee teams that continue work established in 2016 by similar, three-year grants from the Mellon Foundation. That support helped launch the Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities, or PATH, program.

“What has been most dynamic in launching the PATH program has been seeing results for each student involved, from initial mentorship at the community colleges to becoming student leaders in the humanities at UC San Diego,” said Della Coletta, Chancellor’s Associates Chair in Italian Literature at UC San Diego. “I am confident in saying our partnership with SDCCD and support from the Mellon Foundation is immediately helping diverse, intelligent and engaged students.”

The new grants will support five areas: Establishing an Integrated Internship Initiative for Ph.D. students interested in community-college careers, increasing student outreach and retention through mentoring, strengthening faculty connections between the two institutions, using digital technology for collaboration and innovation, and expanding support services in the annual Summer Academy for PATH students.

“We know community college transfer students play a unique and valued role at UC San Diego, and partnering with SDCCD in this way brings us closer to actualizing a new future,” she said. “Expanding the program with this support will have tangible benefits, not just for current and future students, but for a region in need of what an education in the humanities brings: creative, critical thinkers and compassionate, empathetic citizens.”

Read the full story on the UC San Diego News Center.

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