U.S. Department of Education Awards $3 Million to Community College of Denver to Support Hispanic Students Pursuing STEM

CCD’s Sirviendo Seeks to Increase Hispanic Student Participation, Graduation, and Transfer in STEM Education

Community College of Denver (CCD), Denver’s only federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, was awarded $3,001,450 over five years to re-envision education and college navigation. STEM Sirviendo, funded by the U.S. Department of Postsecondary Education, is a faculty-led, learner-centered reform designed to strengthen recruitment, student retention, completion of associate degrees and transfers to four-year schools for Hispanic students.

STEM Sirviendo is an opportunity for CCD to deepen its mission as a Hispanic Serving Institution and to create a pathway to increase the supply of a diverse STEM workforce,” said CCD's Dean of Math and Science. “Given Colorado's need for talented STEM employees, STEM Sirviendo will benefit our community for years to come.”


man in protective glasses learns to operate a machine
CCD student Lou Martinez learns to operate a machine at the AMC

According to Burning Glass, 56 percent of Colorado’s entry-level STEM jobs require a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, yet only 29 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in Colorado are in a STEM field and only nine percent are awarded to Hispanic students.

“The number of Latino students in STEM fields is low, yet the demand for Coloradoans ready for STEM careers is higher than ever,” said Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO). “Getting more Colorado students engaged in STEM programs is key to our economy. Colorado’s Latino population is consistently growing and CCD’s STEM Sirviendo program is a great way to engage more of our residents in STEM careers.”

Based in proven methods from educational research, STEM Sirviendo seeks institutional transformation to improve outcomes for Hispanic students. Funded activities include:

  1. Faculty development to implement culturally responsive teaching (CRT), cutting-edge curriculum development and delivery and holistic program assessment in all STEM disciplines. All CCD instructional staff can participate in faculty development.
  2. Key student engagement components include research-based programming to develop skills for students to successfully navigate college life and STEM education. Programs include STEM Summer Bridge, family events (important for students who are the first in their families to attend college) and hands-on scientific research opportunities.
  3. Transfer partnerships with four-year colleges to build transfer and post-transfer support for students. This will include faculty exchanges, joint faculty development trainings and development of CCD STEM transfer groups at receiving four-year schools.

“CCD chose Sirviendo, which means ‘serving’, as this project’s title because we seek to improve CCD’s opportunities to serve our current and future Hispanic student-scholars and help them realize their dreams to become scientists, engineers, researchers, and medical professionals,” said CCD President Dr. Everette Freeman. “The Center for Math and Science doesn’t want to just enroll students in STEM programs; we also want to support them along the way and do everything we can to ensure their success.”

Learn more about the HSI STEM Sirviendo grant.

Located on the vibrant Auraria Campus in downtown Denver, CCD is a leading point-of-entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver. Almost 30 percent of CCD’s students are Hispanic. CCD offers small class sizes and flexible schedules, career and academic programs, award-winning professors, extensive advisory and support services, world-class facilities, easy access via RTD light rail and affordable tuition. CCD is one of 13 community colleges in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). Learn more at www.CCD.edu