September 24, 2015


Washington, D.C. - Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) today announced more than $2.1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education for four San Antonio colleges and universities to improve the educational attainment of Hispanic students. The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Northwest Vista College, San Antonio College, and the University of Texas Health Science Center will receive funding through the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program. 

"For our nation to remain competitive in the global economy, it's essential the next generation of American workers have a solid educational foundation," said Rep. Castro. "This specialized funding supports diversity on our campuses and helps students overcome barriers to achieve their educational goals. Given the growing Hispanic population in our state, this funding is particularly important for Texas schools as they seek to meet the needs of their student bodies. I'm grateful the Department of Education is expanding opportunities for young people in our city and fostering a diverse, talented workforce."

Hispanic-Serving Institution grant competitions have occurred every year since 1999. The duration of the grant award is for five years.  

Specific grant information follows: 

  • The University of Texas at San Antonio: $649,986.00
  • Northwest Vista College: $471,609.00 
  • San Antonio College: $525,000.00
  • University of Texas Health Science Center: $477,168.00

The University of Texas at San Antonio will use the funding to prepare, inspire, validate, orient, and transition (PIVOT) students at UTSA and the San Antonio Community College District's five campuses to promote academic achievement. PIVOT will mentor students, assist them with school transitions, and provide support to first generation students. PIVOT seeks to increase transfer, retention, and graduation rates among two year and four year Hispanic college students.  

Northwest Vista College will use the grant to implement Project Math Paths (PMP). PMP seeks to improve student math skills through advising, class placement, and support services. The primary goal of PMP is to improve graduation rates by making math less of an obstacle.  

San Antonio College will use the grant to fund the Puentes Project. This project will help combat the barriers faced by Hispanic students from low-income and first generation families. The funding will allow Puentes to increase enrollment among Hispanic students; create accelerated remedial courses for more students; expand tutoring and advising resources; and update teaching and learning in STEM classrooms and labs.  

The University of Texas Health Science Center will use the grant in its nursing school. Specifically, the funds will go towards a student support and faculty development program entitled Realce: Academic Skills Enhancement for South Texas Nurses. Realce will aid at-risk students who are preparing for the National Council Licensure Examination and teach nursing faculty how to address the needs of diverse student populations, especially low-income and first-generation students.