The Graduate Support Center (GSC) was established in 2010 via a Department of Education HSI Title V Promoting Post Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) grant as a multipurpose learning assistance and support services center. The Center offers an Academic Workshop Series, a Graduate Writing Institute, and Family Orientation to increase student’s educational success. Hispanics represent 48% of master’s degree students. Understanding the importance of family to Hispanics, the New Graduate Student and Family Orientation was developed as a half-day academic orientation for students and a vehicle to integrate family into the university through innovative student, family, and small children tracks. An Academic Workshop Series was originally offered twice per week for two hours, the series moved to an all-day Saturday format with enormous success. The Graduate Writing Institute was established to focus on fundamental writing with gradual progression towards higher order writing. The program is offered in an intensive two-day boot-camp format.
The Graduate Support Center aims to increase the persistence rate of Latino Master’s students by developing and implementing academic and support initiatives that will ensure the academic success of the student while integrating the student’s family.
· Hispanic students’ Fall 2011 cohort (three years) persistence to completion rate increased almost double the rate of all master’s students (20% vs. 11%) due to the Center’s work.
· Average enrollment of Latino students has nearly doubled and now represents 48% of all students enrolled.
· The Academic Workshops and Family Orientation have helped establish a culture of student success with increased attendance over a 3-year period (from 451 to 1,105 in three years) and the average attendance at Family Orientation most recently was: 36% parents, 20% children, 19% spouse, 10% sibling, 9% friend, 3% grandparent, and 3% other.