A proposed collaboration between the University of Houston-Victoria and the Coastal Bend College that could affect nearly 3,000 low-income, Hispanic and first-generation students recently received a federal Title V grant. Totaling $3.5 million, the grant will funnel $985,898 to UHV over the next five years to help build the program.
The collaboration between the two schools has three main components, all aimed at increasing enrollment and education attainment levels among underserved students in the Coastal Bend area, particularly within the Hispanic community. The first focuses on building stronger relationships between area high schools and CBC to encourage and support graduating seniors to enroll at the college. The second two components focus on developing a stronger partnership between CBC and UHV to improve student access to distance learning and to increase the transfer of CBC graduates to UHV to complete their studies.
“One of our primary goals at UHV is to provide students a seamless transition from community college to university, and this funding is critical to helping us meet that goal,” said UHV President Tim Hudson. “It is this kind of accessibility to higher education that makes students more likely to attain their degrees, and that’s a benefit to them and to everyone in their communities.”
Key to the program is the development of online UHV classes offered on the CBC campus that would allow students to earn their bachelor’s degree without moving. Other program innovations include a camp that will allow high school graduates to stay in dormitories in Beeville and begin college in the summer.
The collaboration also will partner UHV students with CBC students in a mentoring relationship to help ease the transition to the university. Modeled after the highly successful LEAD mentoring program at UHV, this program will foster relationships designed to give peer support during a crucial education junction.
Dr. Margaret Rice, executive assistant the president at UHV, anticipates the project moving forward quickly. She said, “This is an exciting development for both schools. We have designed a program that is going to bring so much benefit to area students, and we’re eager to get to work.”
UHV’s portion of the grant will be used to hire staff members for administrative support, build infrastructure for the online component, and train faculty in electronic delivery of courses. The program is expected to help UHV reach its goal of serving more Hispanic students.
For more information about the Title V grant or the collaboration between UHV and CBC, contact Dr. Margaret Rice at (361) 570-4145.