Rep Pascrell Announces Federal Grant to Improve Writing Proficiency at Passaic County Community College

Female student in the middle of other students at the Park, talking to each other



WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) announced that Passaic County Community College (PCCC) will be awarded a $511,264 grant through the Department of Education’s Strengthening Hispanic Serving Institutions Program.  The grant will aim to increase achievement and program completion rates of Hispanic and other students by integrating critical thinking and writing skills in the college curriculum. 


“Too many of ours students are struggling to develop strong reading comprehension and writing skills,” stated Pascrell.  “Strong literacy skills are central to our students’ pursuit of educational excellence and advancement.  I applaud PCCC for acknowledging a national trend that is negatively affecting our student’s classroom performance, and moving to secure resources that will improve academic achievement right here in Passaic County.”


PCCC will invest the grant into a comprehensive five year reform effort that will involve developing twenty distinct Writing Intensive (WI) courses.  The courses will be supported by an intensive instructional development component that will train faculty in integrating critical thinking and writing. 


“This federal investment will improve writing proficiency for thousands of Passaic County Community College students,” said Dr. Steven Rose, the President of Passaic County Community College.  “I am excited to get this program underway and help our student body reach a new standard of educational achievement.  On behalf of the college students and faculty, I thank Congressman Pascrell for his unwavering commitment to Passaic County Community College.”   


PCCC’s five-year plan will aim to increase the number of students who pass the Graduate Writing Exam (GWE) on their first attempt by twenty percent.  It is estimated that by 2012, the program will be serving over 1,000 college-level students per semester, the majority of whom will be Hispanic.  The estimated five-year cost is approximately $2.5 million.  $511,264 will be granted for a period from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008.      


“While America celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, we must remember that thousands of college students come from homes where English is not the primary language.  In order for these students to compete in our society it is essential that they become proficient readers and writers.  I will continue to support PCCC’s efforts to promote educational opportunity for all of America’s students.”


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