GCC’s College Access Program Gets $1.5M, and Project Aim Awarded Nearly $300K


Guam – Guam Community College’s College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) is going on its fourth year of inspiring middle and high school students in both public and private schools on island to reach higher so that they will be successful in college.

CACGP’s FY 2012 grant award from the U.S. Department of Education is $1.5 million – the same amount the program received last year, and a huge increase over its grant awards for the first two years of only $330,000 each year.


[Robison Di Ramos, BLS Instructor/Operator with Guam Medical Transport, shows Sean Salas from Jose Rios Middle School how to conduct CPR during the College Access Challenge Grant Program’s Summer Bridge program at GCC in July. GCC’s $1.5 million CACGP grant from the U.S. Department of Education to familiarize middle and high school students with the college process was renewed again for this fiscal year]

“The College Access Challenge Grant Program strives to promote a “college-going culture,” said Millie Afaisen, CACGP program director. “Our staff, faculty and tutors work hard in helping our participants to reach success at any level, whether it is understanding the formulas of math to help them improve in class, learning to write a college essay or the fundamentals of writing, to completing the FAFSA on-line. Our goal is to help our students AND their families learn about and prepare for a college education and remind them that no matter how out of reach that goal may seem to them, it is more than possible.”

GCC’s CACGP encourages middle and high school students with economic and educational resource challenges to go to college. CACPG offers informational workshops, tutoring services, financial literacy workshops, events and summer programs for students. Afaisen and her staff conduct these workshops in each of the island’s middle and high schools and conduct outreach in the village mayors’ offices. Over the past three years they have reached over 2000 students.

“Our numbers continue to grow because we have new applications coming in daily that have yet to be entered into our system,” said Afaisen. Students who are interested in joining CACGP should contact their school counselor, or have their parents call the CACGP office at GCC at 735-5565.

Once those students get to college, GCC’s Project AIM, TRiO program is there to help them succeed. Project AIM was recently funded for the second year of its originally $1.5 million, five-year grant award. This fiscal year, however, all TRiO programs took a 3.1 percent reduction in funding from US DOE, so GCC’s Project AIM received a total of $292,340 for program year 2011-2012.

“We expect to again serve approximately 175 students in our program this year,” said Christine Sison, Project AIM director.

Project AIM provides support services to GCC students neither of whose parents received a bachelor’s degree, students of a certain income bracket and individuals with a disability.

“Our program encourages students enrolled at GCC to stay focused, graduate and possibly transfer to a four-year institution,” Sison said. To help participants succeed and graduate, the program offers free tutoring, mentorships, a computer/study lab, cultural activities, a transfer activity and various workshops.

For more information about Project AIM, call 735-5595.