By Nick Santana
Brandon Chavez, a Grossmont and Cuyamaca College student, says he would not be able to help is Latinx community if it wasn't for the Math Pathways courses offered at Cuyamaca College. While attending Grossmont College, Chavez was having a difficult time passing his math courses. He took his concern to his EOPS counselor who introduced him to Math Pathways at Cuyamaca College.
Pathways offered Chavez the help he needed to transfer to San Diego State University (SDSU). At the time, “there were only three to four other schools (in California) that were doing something similar,” said Chavez.
Serving a High Ed Purpose
Chavez went on to graduate from SDSU, with a degree in English after which, he earned his Master of Art and Education from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Currently, Chavez works as a math coordinator of a Title V Grant at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) North Las Vegas. The Title V Grant is a Hispanic-Serving Institution Grant that funds institutions of higher education to assist with strengthening institutional programs, facilities, and services to expand the educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented students.
At CSN North Las Vegas, Chavez works as an advisor to help students with their academic path and refer them to the different resources available on campus. “
We are trying to give the students as much help in one department as we can and refer them out based on their needs,” said Chavez.
The main goal of Chavez's work is to help underrepresented students get through their math courses and ensure their success. Just as Cuyamaca did for him.
“Students in our program are provided with workshops that help with career development, financial literacy, and self-care,” says Chavez.
Service and Mentorship
Underrepresented students often struggle to get through college because of the math requirements. With the help of the Title V Grant, and a personal background in community college math support, Chavez is able to help these students pass their classes and further their academic career.
Unlike other student services, where students might see different counselors each time, Chavez explained that students in the Title V Grant will stick with the same counselor throughout their time on campus. Building relationships and mentorship is important for Chavez, he wants student to be comfortable asking for help. It was his experience in math that inspires his work.
“Students in our program will see two other coordinators and myself throughout their time on campus,” states Chavez.