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Title V Cooperative

Habilidades Unidos: Transdisciplinary Cooperation for Educational and Career Success

Norco College's second Title V grant entitled, "Habilidades Unidos: Transdisciplinary Cooperation for Educational and Career Success" is a collaboration with Cal State University San Bernardino. This 5 year, $3.8 million dollar grant will enable the creation of 2+2 articulated programs in Commercial Music, Motion Graphics, Game Art, Game Audio, and Mobile Application Development so that local residents can complete a bachelor degree in 4 years. This grant will also support a number of student success initiatives and transfer counseling assistance.

Grant Abstract

Norco and CSUSB have entered into a joint effort to serve their constituents through an expansion of curriculum and services that addresses a growing need of employers in the region for workers who are skilled in the rapidly growing field of digital media production—including game development and the development of other interactive digital media produced for entertainment, training, and other purposes.

Norco and CSUSB share a primary service area, in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, in which more than 45% of residents are Hispanic and more than 30% speak a language other than English at home. Fewer than 17% of residents have bachelor’s degrees, compared to roughly one-fourth of California and U.S. residents; some 12% live below poverty.

This diverse region has also seen rapid growth in digital entertainment media start-up and expansion, leading to a demand for specialized skills and highly trained employees who stand to earn good incomes. Having each separately committed to educational programs addressing this need, Norco and CSUSB are ideally positioned to join efforts to expand program offerings in this field, and to create opportunities for Hispanic, low-income, and other underrepresented populations to participate in this creative and remunerative industry. It is also an industry in which Spanish-language fluency, when combined with a functional command of English, is a distinct asset.

A notable characteristic of the interactive digital media industry is its transdisciplinary nature, requiring teamwork on the part of skilled professionals and technicians across a diverse array of specializations. Thus the activity title, Habilidades Unidos: Transdisciplinary Cooperation for Educational and Career Success. Through this project, the partners will pursue (1) Curriculum Expansion: Creation of new 2+2 articulated programs in Commercial Music/Music Technology, Game Development/Motion Graphics, and Mobile Applications; (2) Success Services: Assistance for English-language learners and specialized assistance with math and writing/storytelling skills that commonly pose obstacles in the field when students are academically underprepared in these areas; and (3) Outreach to Underrepresented Populations: Targeted efforts to invite and support participation on the part of Hispanic, low-income, and other underrepresented groups, including awareness activities and support activities.

In carrying out this activity, Norco and CSUSB have the opportunity to create aligned curricula, develop shared resources in costly and highly specialized lab facilities, and to bring about regular interaction among faculty for training and joint planning of curricula and pedagogy. The partners can achieve a contribution to education and employment opportunity in the region that is far greater than either could accomplish in isolation or in competition.

For more information, contact Gustavo Oceguera, Associate Dean, Grants and College Support Programs