The Title V Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) Program Grant was awarded in 2014 to St. Mary’s University by the U.S. Department of Education to expand and enhance its offerings to graduate students.
Goals, Objectives and Outcomes
The University’s PPOHA project, “Promoting Excellence in Graduate Education,” has the following overarching goals:
- Goal I: Increase the number of Hispanic and low income students enrolling in and completing post baccalaureate degrees
- Goal II: Increase graduate school enrollment
- Goal III: Increase graduate degree completion rates
St. Mary’s University has designed a PPOHA project entitled, Promoting Excellence in Graduate Education, which will directly address gaps and weaknesses that hinder the University from adequately serving the needs of Hispanic and disadvantaged post baccalaureate students. To this end, St. Mary’s proposed activities includes three inter-related initiatives:
Strengthen and Expand Online Graduate Program Offerings
St. Mary’s will upgrade its distance learning infrastructure to support dynamic online learning. With the appropriate tools in place, St. Mary’s will revise its existing International Relations online program and convert its Software Engineering and Marriage and Family Therapy master’s degree programs, adhering to rigorous Quality Matters standards. Online faculty will receive training to become Quality Matters certified instructors.
Develop Capacity for Community-Based Research
St. Mary’s will develop a sustainable system for infusing practical, meaningful research opportunities from within the community into graduate coursework in order to bolster graduate student engagement.
Develop Support from Graduate Student Success
A technology-rich Graduate Center for Excellence will be established as a dedicated space for graduate student collaboration and research. Additionally, to promote improved persistence and completion, a series of targeted services will be developed as well as a system to award scholarships for student travel to conferences and fellowships to graduate students with unmet financial need.