The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Victoria College a $2,865,594 grant over the next five years to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students.
Title V grants are awarded through the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program to assist Hispanic-Serving Institutions – where at least 25 percent of students are Hispanic – as they work to expand and enhance academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability. At Victoria College, more than half the student population is Hispanic.
Activities in VC’s grant project, which is 100-percent federally funded, will include collaborating with schools to begin conversations about college at an earlier age; expanding support services for VC students; ensuring all first-time students are able to participate in free success coaching and tutoring; and implementing instructional best practices institution-wide.
The federal grant will allow Victoria College to develop a college, career and financial health outreach program to help students from elementary school through high school understand the importance of going to college and to assist them along the way. It will also provide additional support services for VC students, including a full-time social worker, transfer coordinator and career coordinator as well as a part-time support services coordinator.
The grant will also fund additional tutors and success coaches to ensure all first-time students receive the academic support they need to succeed. Other grant activities include providing professional development and research regarding instructional best practices to all VC faculty and strengthening collaboration between tutors and instructors.
“It’s never too early to start learning how programs at Victoria College lead to upward economic mobility, and this grant allows us to start the conversation with elementary school students,” said Victoria College President Dr. Jennifer Kent. “We are also excited to expand our work with current VC students who will have additional guidance and support in completing their paths and transferring to the university in order to continue their education towards a bachelor’s degree.”
Victoria College’s project was ranked second among the 38 grants awarded this year.
“Students who attend Victoria College know that the entire campus is committed to their success,” said Babette Lowe, VC’s Title V project director and dean of academic support and student success. “This project will allow us to expand our services and give more students the support they need to begin and complete a successful learning pathway at Victoria College.”