Nov. 18, 2009 -- Mount St. Mary’s College has been awarded a five-year $2.875-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education to promote graduate studies for Hispanic students.
The Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program aims to expand graduate opportunities for Hispanics by enhancing program offerings at colleges and universities like Mount St. Mary’s with a significant population of Hispanic students. This is the first round of funding under the new program, which was authorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.
The college will use the funds to enhance three master’s degree programs: a master of science in nursing track focused on management developed jointly by the nursing and MBA faculty; a non-clinical concentration in the master of science in counseling psychology program for nonprofit mental health management in partnership with MBA faculty; and a master’s degree in education and teacher credential program, which will integrate technology across the curriculum.
The grant aims to improve persistence and completion rates for graduate students through the support of a Graduate Transition Center. The center will provide tutors, professional employment planning, and mentoring for up to 60 students per year, all while helping students make important decisions about financial debt. The center also will address ways to balance conflicting priorities among school, family and work. In addition, the grant will provide direct financial aid for up to 16 graduate students each year on a needs-based system.
“This significant grant will help our graduate students reach their goals of not only completing graduate degrees, but of finding successful employment in their chosen areas of study,” says college President Jacqueline Powers Doud.
This is one of four Title V grants the college has received in the last 10 years, and the first directed at helping Hispanic graduate students succeed. Federal Title V money aims to enhance educational experiences at colleges and universities where at least 25 percent of students are Hispanic.
U.S. education officials have designated more than $11 million this year to 22 Hispanic-serving institutions with the goal of increasing the number of Hispanic students obtaining graduate degrees.