Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Quick Links Skip to Content Skip to Footer Skip To Left Navigation

CSI Receives $2.5 Million Grant to Support College Enrollment and Success

Release Date: Tuesday 2022-10-11

Twin Falls, ID – The College of Southern Idaho (CSI) has been awarded more than $2.5 million over five years to support getting more students to attend college. As the first federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Idaho, CSI will use the funds to partner with the Jerome School District to increase the number of students who pursue post-secondary education.

“The Hispanic population in southern Idaho is growing rapidly and Jerome County and the Jerome School District form the epicenter of that growth,” said Dr. Jonathan Lord, Vice-President of Student Life and Enrollment Services at the college, and one of the Co-Project Directors for the grant. “That makes Jerome the perfect place to pilot some very intentional activities that we hope to replicate throughout our service area.”

Part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program, the grant is designed to better position HSIs, defined as institutions with a student population that is at least 25% Hispanic, to better serve students who have historically been underserved by the higher education system. “Our grant partnership with the Jerome School District, which now has a student population that is more than 50% Hispanic, will allow CSI to develop systems that we hope will increase the number of students who decide to attend college after high school, while also allowing us to develop the curriculum and tools necessary to help those students be successful once they arrive,” said Tiffany Seeley-Case, Dean of General and Transfer Education at CSI, and the grant’s other Co-Project Director. “In order to truly serve our students, we not only need to get them enrolled, but we need to meet their educational needs once they arrive.”

The percentage of high school students in Idaho who go on to college has traditionally been one of the lowest in the nation, and that percentage bottomed out during the pandemic at less than 40%. During that same time period, Jerome High School’s “go on” rate slipped to 37%. Although that number rebounded to 46% with the class of 2021, the projects outlined in the grant have a goal of getting that number above 50%. “Idaho’s economic future will be reliant on a workforce that has the educational background required for the jobs of the future,” said Dr. Pat Charlton, Superintendent of the Jerome School District. “More and more, research is showing that those jobs will require at least some college education. That’s why it is imperative that we get more students into postsecondary education and ensure that they have the support they need once they arrive.”

The grant funding begins immediately and will average $500,000 per year for five years.