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University wins $3 million grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions

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The University of La Verne was recently awarded with a $3 million Title V grant from the U.S Department of Education for Hispanic Serving Institutions Education. The money will go toward academic support, financial literacy and college-to-career preparation for the student body.

“The Title V grant is an incredibly important step in working toward truly a holistic well-being for our students,” said Sarah Rodman-Alvarez, director of the Lewis Center for Well Being and Research in an email this week.

Early this month Provost Jonathan Reed expressed his gratitude to all the University faculty and administrators who worked on the five-year grant, which will be distributed in $600,000 increments annually. 

The proposal, titled “The La Verne Experience Skills for Success – Holistic, High-Value Education for Hispanic College and Career Success,” addressed the University’s wishes to create programs with the funds that will help students with their college and career goals.

“Having an opportunity to be able to have a holistic approach to help students think about these things and having it formally built into the curriculum is really special,” said Associate Dean of the LaFetra College of Education Kristan Venegas.

Venegas, one of the project leaders, noted the importance of financial aid as a first generation college student from a low income family herself. She contributed the financial literacy piece to the grant proposal, and she stressed the importance of students understanding and taking ownership of their financial planning during and after college. 

Another initiative in the grant is to enhance the academic offerings and strengthen the La Verne Experience for students.

“Co-curricular events (must) work in tandem with curricular learning in the classroom,” Roy Kwon, director of the La Verne Experience, said in an emailed interview this week. “We plan to hold events for the broader community, which will be connected to the classroom content in the La Verne Experience signature courses, especially LVE 200 and 305.”

Assistant Director of Research and Sponsored Programs Bianca Hunter said the proposal took several months to complete and involved consultation with people who specialized in HSI grants,

“Our early implementation will start impacting students as early as next semester instead of next year,” Venegas added. 

Hien Nguyen

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