New University of Arizona grant will fund new project for first-generation Hispanic students

This $3 million dollar grant will support Project ADELANTE for five years.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:39 PM MST|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 10:21 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The University of Arizona will receive a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program for a new project.

Project ADELANTE will aim for retention and career prep programs for first-generation and low-income Hispanic students.

“Students often feel a higher sense of belonging, they often are retained at greater rates and are more likely to complete their degrees when they are at a university that you validates who they are and what they come with,” said Marla Franco, vice president of Hispanic-Serving Institution initiatives at the University of Arizona.

This 3 million dollar grant will support the project for five years.

The project will focus on three components. The first is internships and career readiness.

“That’s actually going to increase the number of paid internship opportunities and service-learning experiences for our students,” said Franco.

The second is the support of a Borderlands fellowship program.

“It is going to support training and professional development opportunities based on experiential learning for our faculty and staff,” said Franco.

The third component will focus on the expansion of the first-year writing program curriculum to utilize “testimonial.”

“We want students to not only learn the mechanics of college writing, but we also want them to love writing, learn how to write well and utilize their own experiences, culture and background as a lens through which to explore writing,” said Franco.

The project will support students with opportunities that fit into their cultural context.

“Given our close proximity to the borderlands, we want to make sure that culture and that heritage, the language, the geography is something that’s integrated into the learning experiences for students of all backgrounds to benefit,” said Franco.

Franco added that this project will also be an opportunity to connect with first-year students.

“We know that those students might need extra support in navigating the higher education landscape,” said Franco. “So, this absolutely is a really tremendous opportunity for us to scale our programs and our initiatives aimed at supporting students who, they will be the first in their families to attend college.”

This program will be beneficial for both the students and the community.

“There’s a big piece of it that is focused on career readiness and ensuring the success of students,” said Franco. “We know that we’re amidst and nestled within a community that has workforce needs. So how do we make sure that we’re working in partnership with our community to really connect workforce needs with the types of experiences that we want to give our students through this grant.”

It is expected to serve 1000′s of students by the end of the grant period.

“We want to make sure that students, when they come to the University of Arizona, they feel comfortable bringing all aspects of their identity into the learning environment,” said Franco.

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