UTSA’s Office of P-20 Initiatives submitted a proposal to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to continue its Collegiate G-Force Student Mentor Program and was recently awarded a grant for $ 200,000 over the next two years. The mentorship program, which helps to meet the state’s 60 x 30 TX plan, grants Texas higher education institutions the ability to provide mentoring and tutoring services to high school and college students. The 84th Texas Legislature recently appropriated $5 million dollars for the biennium to support this type of initiative, first implemented in fall 2007. The grant, awarded to 40 institutions across the state will assist in generating a college-going culture among high school students and provide financial support to current college students.
“Students like myself are now able to help mentor other student who were just like me. Giving back to the local community is important for San Antonio and UTSA and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of the program”, said Victoria Olivo former G-Force student mentor and current UTSA graduate student.
The awarded grant funds will provide wages to college students at UTSA who will serve as student staff and be placed at participating high schools. They will serve as peer mentors at four districts throughout San Antonio. Approximately 17 student mentors will be hired to meet program objectives. New to this grant will be the addition of student tutors who will be hired to assist current UTSA students with core coursework.
“I’m glad we’ve (UTSA) been given another opportunity to continue to serve students in need of college going information. The UTSA connection to the community, through the G-Force program, is important because it helps to inspire future college students”, said Jonathan Weaver, Lead G-Force mentor.
Data tracked by College Readiness and Success staff at the THECB has shown that providing grants to student mentors and tutors increases the number of students who pursue and persist in higher education. The funds not only increase graduation rates for students being mentored or tutored, but also increase graduation rates for student mentors.
“I’m very pleased that UTSA has been awarded 2 additional years of funding for the G-Force program. I’ve seen a significant increase in college going activities throughout San Antonio and I’m proud to say that our G-Force program at UTSA has and will continue to play a role in this important college going initiative”, said Darrell C. Balderrama, Director of Retention Programs.
For more information on program services and eligibility please contact the Office of P-20 Initiatives 210-458-2769.