Central Arizona College launches ‘Project Puente’

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Central Arizona College has received a Hispanic Serving Institutions Higher Education Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture to support Hispanic-serving institutions. The federal funds totaling $274,692 will allow the college to support the future workforce by engaging Latino, Native American and other underrepresented minorities in agricultural-related fields.

Through innovative teaching and experiential learning, Project Puente will prepare students from high school through college for careers that support food, agricultural and natural resources.

Six of the public high schools in Pinal County have Career and Technical Education programs in one or more agricultural disciplines. CAC will partner with local CTE teachers who will participate as interns, docents and mentors.

High school students will be exposed to new learning environments through science fairs, science nights, bioscience research projects, conferences, field trips and college research internships.

CAC’s Project Puente is designed to augment the high school CTE agriculture and biotechnology programs by providing a seamless high school to college to bio-industry career pathway for students throughout the county.

The hope is this will lead to an increase in the number of students enrolling in and completing agriculture Career and Technical Education certifications and college agriculture degrees and certificates for bioscience careers, according to a press release.

For more information regarding Project Puente, call Marshall Logvin, CAC’s USDA/NIFA grant coordinator, at 520-494-6420 or e-mail him at marshall.logvin@centralaz.edu.

Editor’s note: Angela Askey is director of marketing for Central Arizona College.

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