Project GRAD Houston
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep,
Parental/Family Engagement


GRADCafé provides accessible, community-based college, career access, and success services to local Latino students and families. Project GRAD seeks to help students develop and achieve their educational aspirations.

Program Description

Since 1994, Project GRAD has provided college and career advising to students in Houston, Texas. It has shifted from providing school-based advising in its beginnings to community-based advising at present.

GRADCafé offers students and their families a one-stop place for information about preparing for, applying to, and enrolling in a higher education institution of their choice, including completing college and career plans. It provides free, bilingual services around college entry and enrollment, financial aid, the college transition, career planning, and goal setting including near-peer mentors, speakers, and advisors who are motivating role-models. Services are provided via group forums (workshops, tours, presentations, etc.) and a one-on-one, walk-in basis. GRADCafé is open to students without need for an appointment and is available at hours that include evenings and weekends. GRAD’s mobile unit, GRADCafé on the Go!, brings demand-driven college and career information to neighborhood events and other venues. The GRADCafé model takes away institutional barriers and ensures that Hispanic communities feel welcomed in an environment where students and their families can receive support in both English and Spanish. After many years of serving Latino populations, GRAD has learned that family involvement is key to a student's success, and it is imperative to make post-secondary information accessible to both students and parents.


  • Increased college enrollment:  Of all program participants, 51% are either completing college or remain enrolled at a rate that is nearly double the rate of their peers throughout Texas. 80% of the program’s 2016 cohort have either completed college or remain enrolled.
  • Increased graduation: 58% of GRAD's graduating cohort of 2015 completed college. In comparison, 48% of GRAD's graduating high school cohort of 2010 completed college.

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