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Texas State aims to boost minority male student success via consortium

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
December 10, 2012

Texas State University and nine other Texas colleges and universities that make up the Texas Education Consortium for Male Student Success have been awarded a $335,000 to support Hispanic and African American male student success in college enrollment and degree attainment.

Project MALES, an initiative within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas headed by Victor Sáenz, assistant professor of education, will administer the grant.

“Texas State University is happy to be a part of this unique collaboration that looks to increase the number of Latino males in the education pipeline as we know from the research that this student population is not attaining similar educational outcomes to their peers,” said Michael Nava, assistant dean for assessment in the University College at Texas State. “Through this GTF grant schools like ours will be able to increase our efforts to recruit and retain our underrepresented male students at a higher level through mentoring support and other programs that we institute.”

The three-year grant will support work on four key objectives: to build the consortium; to annually hold two meetings and a student summit to share evaluation metrics and advance programmatic activities; to incubate research-based, male-focused programs, including a male mentoring program for high school and college students at each institution; and to disseminate findings through a resource center and other online tools. The research-based mentoring program for male high school and college students is based on a multigenerational mentoring model designed and piloted by Sáenz and his Project MALES team.

The grant from the Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) will be awarded over a three-year period starting in summer 2013 to support the work of the consortium, an ambitious statewide initiative that will align existing programs that target underrepresented male students in K-12 and higher education and stimulates new initiatives within Texas colleges and universities.

In addition to Texas State, the consortium includes Austin Community College, El Paso Community College District, Lone Star College System, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, South Texas College, Tarrant County College District and the University of North Texas. The consortium will also count two public school districts among its membership.

“In our year of gathering data, building partnerships and piloting a mentoring program at a local high school, we have heard so much positive feedback from the community, including nonprofits and individuals that work with minority males," Sáenz said. "As we expand the project through the consortium my hope is that we continue to increase awareness about minority male educational attainment and grow to even more schools in Texas to reach greater levels of males through targeted and effective programming.”

Additional funding for the consortium will come in the form of in-kind and direct support from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement as well as other funding partners. To learn more about the consortium or Project MALES, visit http://ddce.utexas.edu/projectmales/about/.

The Greater Texas Foundation, formerly the Greater Texas Student Loan Corporation, is a foundation based in Bryan that serves the residents and educational institutions of Texas by supporting initiatives that increase rates of postsecondary enrollment and completion for all Texas students, with a particular focus on students who may encounter barriers to postsecondary success.

For more information, contact Michael Nava at (512) 245-3943 or via email at nava@txstate.edu.