Expanding graduate education opportunities for Hispanic students

New $3 million grant promotes postbaccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic students

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 • Devynn Case : Contact

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The University of Texas at Arlington has received a $3 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) program.

The PPOHA program provides grants to expand postbaccalaureate educational opportunities for Hispanic students and helps large numbers of Hispanic students complete postsecondary degrees.

“The trend surrounding minority students not proceeding to postbaccalaureate degrees is a nationwide concern,” said Carla Amaro-Jimenez, co-principal investigator on the grant and associate professor in UTA’s College of Education. “While undergraduate enrollments across campus include large percentages of Hispanic students, there is a severe drop-off in Hispanic enrollments at the master’s level. At the doctoral level, it drops even further.”

Maria Martinez-Cosio, interim dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs and professor of public affairs and planning is the principal investigator of the grant. Two other co-principal investigators are Jennifer Sutton, director of TRIO Student Support Services and Danielle Klein, director of New Student Courses in the Division of Student Success. The team is collaborating with the UTA Graduate School, with assistance from its dean, James Grover, as well as the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence and its director Ann Cavallo, who is also assistant vice provost at UTA.

“Data gathered for this proposal all pointed to a need to develop additional targeted programming to support Hispanic postbaccalaureate students with success, retention and completion,” Amaro-Jimenez said.

UTA will utilize the Title V PPOHA-awarded funds to provide Hispanic graduate students with a number of supportive services designed to encourage them to consider furthering their education into master’s and doctoral programs. These include:

•    creating a new graduate student space, the EDGE Center, targeting Hispanic and low-income graduate students;
•    developing in-depth career education activities for graduate students, including workshops and career fairs, as well as one-on-one support; and
•    forming a professional development component for faculty to incorporate culturally responsive instruction and career education components to curriculum.

This year’s award recipients also included Texas A&M University, Texas Woman's University, Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio and Sul Ross State University. The last Title V grant that UT Arlington received was for $2.6 million to fund the IDEAS Center.

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from left, Maria Martinez-Cosio, Jennifer Sutton, Danielle Klein and Carla Amaro-Jimenez