Katherine Powers Awarded $2,993,375 from Dept. of Education for Project upGRADS

Powers headshot
In support of the academic achievement of Hispanic and other disadvantaged graduate students, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the university $2, 993,375 for the upGRADS project (Utilizing & Promoting Graduate Resources & Access for Disadvantaged Students). Led by PI Katherine Powers, director for the School of Music, the PPOHA ( Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans)grantseeks to increase the number of Hispanic and other disadvantaged students who enroll, persist and complete a graduate degree in a timely manner by providing effective advising and academic support and by fostering meaningful engagement opportunities for Hispanic and other disadvantaged graduate students, while addressing the university’s institutional gaps and weaknesses, and serving to develop the campus climate for graduate education.

“CSUF serves 39,774 (fall 2018) students, where 41.5% identify Hispanic; however, among graduate students, only 26.7% are Hispanic,” explains Powers, who is also PI for the SOAR: Strengthening Opportunity, Access and Resources grant. “Disparities in the academic achievement — enrollment, retention and graduation — of Hispanic graduate students compared to general population, and weaker graduate student engagement among Hispanic graduate students demonstrate need for the upGRADS project.”

The upGRADS project has three objectives:

  • Increase Hispanic Student Enrollment in a Graduate Program(with improved advising and advisor training, plus a graduate studies readiness certificate program)
  • Develop Hispanic Student Educational Engagement(with a fellowship program, mentoring and expanded services from the Career Center)
  • Improve Hispanic Retention and Graduation Rates (with faculty development, peer support groups and expanded online resources)

More about upGRADS at CSUF News Service