Goshen College awarded $3M grant to support underrepresented students

Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 7:00 PM EDT
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GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - Goshen College is set to advance its commitment to fostering student success and reducing the equity gap, thanks to a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

This grant aims to further the institution’s dedication to supporting Hispanic/Latinx and commuter students and guiding them towards successful careers.

Doctor Gilberto Pérez, Jr., vice president for Student Life and Hispanic Serving Initiatives, expressed his gratitude for the grant, emphasizing the college’s mission to advance education for all. He stated, “After we received the designation, we held a convocation, and there we celebrated the designation. This is a new designation for us, so we are learning as we go about what it will mean to be an HSI at Goshen College.”

The Title V program is designed to empower institutions of higher education in their efforts to expand academic offerings, enhance faculty quality, and improve institutional stability, ultimately increasing postsecondary degree completion rates at HSIs. Goshen College’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2023 allowed it to apply for this grant, making it the first time the institution secured this funding. With more than a quarter of its undergraduate students identifying as Hispanic/Latinx, the college is well-poised to make a substantial impact on these student populations.

Doctor Ann Vendrely, academic dean and vice president for Academic Affairs, underscored the significance of this grant, saying, “This grant demonstrates the ongoing investment Goshen College is making for student success. It allows us to enhance the already strong services offered by our Academic Success Center through new opportunities for students, staff, and faculty.”

Goshen College’s strategic initiative will allocate the $3 million grant towards essential support services, resources, and staffing to bolster its commitment to Hispanic and underserved students.

The project will be centered around four primary strategies:

  • Create a Student Success Center: This centralized, welcoming space will connect students to campus resources and the community.
  • Expand the First-Year Program: Goshen College plans to add dedicated first-year advisors and revise courses to enhance academic skills, a sense of belonging, and student engagement.
  • Guide and Advise Students: The college will assist students in choosing a program of study and a career path.
  • Facilitate Professional Learning for Faculty: Ensuring that faculty are well-equipped to support students effectively.

For students like Javier Reyes, vice president of the student body at Goshen College, this will be helpful in his long-term plan to major in nursing. “I chose to come to Goshen College because I recognized that there was a large Hispanic community here, and the amount of financial aid that’s given really mattered a lot to me coming from a low-income family.”

A part of this funding will also be used to renovate the Wilma and Harold Good Library.