Whittier College

Office of Public Relations

13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA  90608-0634

Aug. 8, 2002                                                    

Reference:  02/03: 6                                                          

Contact:  Caye Brundage Riley at (562) 907-4974 

Whittier College Receives Grant for $1.5 Million


          Whittier College has been awarded a development grant for $1,493,678 from
the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program as authorized
under Title V

of the Higher Education Act.  (Institutions designated as Hispanic-serving by the
government are those with undergraduate enrollments that are at least 25 percent

Rafael Chabrán, associate dean for academic advisement, is program director
for the grant, which will fund three initiatives:  Professionalizing academic advisement
by improving training for faculty on developmental advising techniques; creating a
virtual advising center to improve technological access to student advisement records;
and developing a living-learning community by renovating a residence hall to include
two seminar rooms for first-year students, a supplemental learning and computer lab,
and a group study space.

All of the initiatives supported by the grant are directly tied to the college’s
10-year strategic plan, developed last year under the direction of President Katherine
Haley Will.

“We are pleased that the grant reviewers recognized Whittier College’s leadership in diversity, as well as all of the planning and effort that went into the strategic plan and
this grant application,” Will said.  “They were particularly impressed with the expertise
of our staff who will be involved in implementing these projects.”

The overall goal of the program is to increase retention of all Whittier College
students, with a particular focus on those who have been traditionally underrepresented
in higher education.  Special attention will be given to providing increased service to
transfer students and those living off campus.

“I believe this is one of the most significant grants the college has ever received,” Chabrán said.  “It builds upon our history of working with Latino students, but the new
focus on advising will help us to retain all students.  It also opens up resources and
networks that will allow us to stay current with research and initiatives that improve our delivery of services and educational goals.  It is a catalyst for positive change and real progress toward our 10-year goals.”

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent,
four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional
programs taught in the context of the liberal arts.  Whittier Law School, which is
accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of
American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927