Project Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success (MALES)

Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Achievement) University of Texas at Austin
State
Texas
Academic Level
Baccalaureate
Issue Area
Retention
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Males/Latinos,
Mentoring

Overview

Project Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success (MALES) mission advances equitable educational outcomes for students of color at the local, state, and national level. They do this in part by implementing an effective mentoring program with a focus on Latino students through a dynamic inter-generational near-peer mentoring approach. Project MALES outcomes are tied to graduation rates, leadership development, and community engagement to enhance the academic success of undergraduate mentors of color at the University of Texas (UT) Austin, a predominantly white institution. 

Program Description

Project MALES is a research and evidence-based mentoring initiative that focuses on addressing challenges Latino males in K-12 and higher education through a cultural assets-based approach. The program serves 18 middle and high schools in two local school districts to provide mentorship to over 250 boys of color. The program staff consists of five graduate students, 65 undergraduate mentors, and three full-time staff of predominantly identifying as first-generation and Latino background.

All programming is tied to Latino experiences, using Critical Race Theory and Latino and Latina Critical Theory approach, spring and fall training retreats, platicas, and IMPACT class. Project MALES training retreats are set at the beginning of the semester to educates mentors on high impact practices, critical mentoring curriculum, restorative practices, and fostering a Latino informed learning community. Platicas highlight faculty, community leaders, and other advocates to dialogue with undergraduate mentors, and serve to inspire and motivate students in their academic and personal development. The IMPACT class supports student engagement and academic achievement through experiential learning opportunities and introduces students to graduate-level coursework on Latino educational research literature. 

Outcome

  • Increased graduation rate: The 6-year graduation rate for Latinx students who enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin in Fall 2011 is 75%. For the 2012 cohort of Latino males, it was 71%. Since the founding of the Project MALES Mentoring Program, 203 undergraduate mentors have participated in the program, with 178 identified as Latinx. Of all student participants, 90% of students have graduated or are on track to graduate.
  • High retention of mentors: For the 2018-2019 cohort of 64 students, seven mentors graduated and 57 undergraduate mentors successfully completed the year. All students have committed to returning for the 2019- 2020 academic year resulting in a 100% completion and retention rate.
  • Increased graduate degree completion, including PhDs: In the 2018-19 cohort, the program had five graduate assistants, three graduated with their master’s degree in Education. Since inception, 14 mentors have enrolled in and completed a PhD.