September 2, 2015
(l-r) President Nellis; Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement, Juan Muñoz; Associate Director of Upward Bound, Sylvia Gonzales; Senior Administrator Paul Ruiz; and Managing Director of Upward Bound, Jesse Jalomo.
Texas Tech University recently was awarded a $1.1 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for a Student Support Services program. The program will serve enrolled students, in which two-thirds of them must be both low-income and first generation students and other students are some variation of low-income, first generation students or disabled.
This is the first time Texas Tech has received this grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
“Congratulations to our Institutional Diversity and Upward Bound staff for receiving a highly competitive grant,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “As we continually work toward increasing our retention rates and helping students complete their college education, this grant will provide the resources and tools to assist students academically and financially and motivate them to complete their college education no matter their backgrounds.”
The Student Support Services grant is one of eight TRIO programs, which, according to the DOE, are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. This particular grant is geared toward providing opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements and motivate students toward the completion of students’ college education in hopes of increasing college retention and graduation rates of program participants.
Texas Tech will utilize this grant to provide enhanced academic tutoring, degree advising and financial aid identification and application services.
“This will help many of our current students as well as future and potential students and help reinforce Texas Tech’s strategic priorities and mission,” he said. “It will be another great potential recruitment tool as well as provide another marker toward possibly attaining the Hispanic Serving Institution designation.”
The Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation was created by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, where the total enrollment for Hispanic undergraduate students is at least 25 percent. Only 10 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide serve as an HSI, and the designation can lead to more funding and opportunities to recruit and retain diverse students.
For the 2014-15 academic year, Texas Tech’s Hispanic enrollment increased to 22 percent with a record of 6,336 Hispanic undergraduate students.
“Texas Tech and the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement is thrilled to be awarded this inaugural $1.1 million Student Support Services grant from the Department of Education,” said Juan Muñoz, senior vice president for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement and vice provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs. “With these funds the university will be better positioned to support the academic aspirations of low-income, first generation and students with disabilities. These efforts also will positively impact Texas Tech’s goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution.”
The $1.1 million Student Support Services grant will be dispersed equally over five years with $220,000 received annually by Texas Tech.
The Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement is dedicated to create and support an environment that allows all members of the university community to be academically and professionally successful.