|Congressman Henry Cuellar (’82, MBA) presents two federal grants totaling $6,061,035 for two new academic programs at TAMIU.|
Congressman Henry Cuellar (’82, MBA) announced the awarding of two grants totaling $6,061,035 in federal funds for two academic programs at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). The funds, from the Department of Education, are part of the Strengthening Hispanic Serving Institutions Program.
Cong. Cuellar was joined by program representatives and students at the funding announcement in the foyer of the Western Hemispheric Trade Center. Students Philip Balli, an undergraduate Communications student, and Carlos Castillo, a graduate student in Counseling Psychology, provided student perspectives at the presentation.
One Grant, Engaging Sophomores/Graduation Roadmap Project, will receive $637,202 for one year, with an expectation that it will be funded for five years, for a total of $3,186,035. Another Grant will fund the Graduate Retention Enhancement program, which received $575,000 in funding per year with an expectation that it too will be funded for five years, for a total award of $2,875,000.
The Engaging Sophomores/Graduation Roadmap Project is designed to increase the academic success of TAMIU’s Hispanic, low-income student population by strengthening sophomore counseling support services, assessing the academic experience, increasing professional opportunities for faculty development that build pedagogical and academic connectedness for sophomore students, institutionalizing financial resources for faculty development and creating an endowment for student scholarships.
The Graduate Retention Enhancement program seeks to increase the number of Hispanic students who complete graduate degree in a timely manner and are prepared to attain a doctoral degree or professional career in behavioral, biological or mathematical sciences. This goal is to be achieved through a vigorous and cost-effective implementation of a number of activities such as a research assistantship program providing financial assistance, faculty mentorship, research capability improvement, and opportunities to interact with guest scientists and mathematicians, and a designated graduate student office.
TAMIU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the funding for the new programs greatly increases opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. “TAMIU is grateful to Congressman Cuellar for helping us to secure two major grants that will address the success to two student groups: Hispanic sophomores and graduate students. The Engaging Sophomores/Graduation Roadmap Grant will serve to develop a project and activities that will result in increasing the retention rate of University sophomores. The Graduate Retention Enhancement Grant will assist us in increasing the number of Hispanic students who complete a graduate degree. As the University continues to experience rapid growth in student enrollment, we are immensely fortunate to be able to rely on Cong. Cuellar’s solid support in securing these two major grants that make the dream of higher education a reality for our students,” Dr. Arenaz said.
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