California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) has received a five-year $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Title-V, Part B-PPOHA (Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans) program to launch the Graduate Writing Institute for Excellence (GWIE). The institute will advance the reading, writing and research skills of the university’s graduate students through a comprehensive skills enhancement program, and seek to develop additional academic and professional partnerships that will help foster student success. Thirty-six percent of CSUDH’s graduate student population is Hispanic.
The DOE grant will enable the GWIE to advance academic achievement by providing discipline-specific research assistance, subject-specific tutoring, and thesis and capstone project support using innovative pedagogical techniques based upon the proven success of Cross-Aged Peer Assisted Learning models. Doctoral students will be employed as Cross-Age Peer Student (CAPS) mentors, who will partner with Faculty Fellows from 24 graduate-level professional and credential programs at CSUDH, thereby implementing the multi-pathway writing and research skills enhancement program.
In 2010, the university was awarded its first PPOHA grant of $2.4 million, which was used to create the GWIE’s successful predecessor program: Promoting Excellence in Graduate Studies (PEGS).
“This incredible support from the Department of Education for a second time is a true reflection of the exceptional work of our staff, students, and faculty partners, as well as the work of the thousands of students who benefit from their knowledge,” said Leena Furtado, GWIE’s project director and principle investigator. “With our first grant, we were very successful in helping students progress academically by clearing a wide path for them to a variety of services on campus.”
Housed in CSUDH’s Leo F. Cain Library, the GWIE is currently building collaborative partnerships with the following CSUDH programs and entities:
- Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity program (URSCA)
- Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
- McNair Scholars program
- Minority Academic Access to Research Careers program (MARC)
- Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research program (U*STAR)
- Federal Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)
- Male Success Alliance
- Career Center
“The partnerships the GWIE has with the dedicated and caring faculty, staff and students throughout Cal State Dominguez Hills greatly strengthened the foundation of the institute,” said Furtado. “They are essential to what we are working to achieve in helping our graduate students exceed and proceed to the next chapters in their lives.”