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Hartnell College Receives $1.1 Million Grant to Assist Low-Income, First-Generation Students

March 6th, 2006

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Hartnell College a $1.1 million grant that will provide first generation and/or low income students with additional academic support and student services.

Called the Student Support Services (SSS) program, it is funded for $220,000 per year for five years.

Each participant in the program will receive academic counseling, tutoring, supplemental instruction, and faculty/peer mentoring, according to Celia Barberena, vice president, student services. In addition, there also will be special workshops on financial aid, career exploration, transfer planning, as well as study and time management, she said.

The program, according to Barberena, has several purposes. "We are very hopeful that the SSS program will increase the retention, graduation and transfer rates of participants," she said.

The college is now recruiting students for the program, according to Manuel Bersamin, newly appointed director. He formerly worked at Hartnell as a student recruiter and most recently was at California State University, Monterey Bay, where he directed the federal College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which assisted sons and daughters of migrant workers with assistance in counseling, tutoring and other student services.

Bersamin holds a B.A. in social ecology from UC Irvine and an M.A. in higher education administration from Stanford University. He currently is completing a Ph.D. in higher education administration (with an emphasis on student affairs) from the University of Arizona.

Bersamin can be reached at (831) 759-6013.