Wayland awarded almost $3 million to enhance Hispanic student support

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 2:13 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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PLAINVIEW, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - Wayland Baptist University will receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education during the next five years to ensure the academic success of Hispanic and low-income, first-generation students.

The Title V grant will fund “Pioneering Greater Access for Hispanic Students through Enhanced Student Support,” Wayland’s coordinated effort to improve support for Hispanic students and expand information systems to improve student success. The effort also is designed to increase fall-to-fall retention and improve four-year graduation rates.

The grant is part of DOE’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program and enables Wayland to expand and enhance academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.

“I am pleased that we have been able to secure this grant with our first proposal because the DHSI program helps Wayland to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. That’s something Wayland has been doing but is keenly interested in expanding,” said Dr. Bobby Hall, President.

The Title V grant funds the hiring of supplemental student success staff, as well as offers additional software and scholarship support, according to Dr. Cindy McClenagan, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and project coordinator.

“Since starting our grant proposal initiative in 2020, Wayland has successfully garnered several sizable federal grants, but I’m most excited by this one due to its wide-ranging and long-term implications,” McClenagan said. “Wayland can now provide wrap-around care for current and future student populations, especially those from Hispanic/Latino, low-income, or first-generation backgrounds.”

Dr. Joshua Mora, Joachim Endowed Professor of Spanish, described the nearly $3 million grant as “a blessing for Wayland.”

“It will help us enhance some programs we already have and give us the ability to create new opportunities for our Hispanic/Latino students,” said Mora, who was part of the grant-writing team and works closely with Hispanic/Latino students. “It also aids us in our retention and recruiting efforts.”

Dr. Rosemary Peggram, Director of Student Success, said the grant is “monumental for Wayland.”

“What an awesome opportunity for us to expand on and improve our student success services and to provide more support to new and returning Hispanic students,” said Peggram, who also was a part of the grant-writing team. “I am a little emotional about this because it will allow the Student Success Office and other departments to expand personnel and existing services and provide new programs during the next several years.”

Totaling $2,992,545 across five years, the grant provides funding for six new or additional student support positions, including a Title V project director, student success and disability service coordinator, bilingual academic coach, and specialists in enrollment/LaFamilia Outreach, financial aid, and retention data. Computers and technology for project staff also is included, as well as project software. Summer Bridge Program Activities, events and instructional supplies also are included.