Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

December 22, 2017

OMA&D Receives $36.6 Million in New Grants and Renewals

In 2017, the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) received six new grants and grant renewals from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $36.6 million over the next seven years to deepen its support for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students both on campus and throughout the state.

These awards began with the fall 2017 cycle and feature $35.4 million in new grants and renewals for the RISE UP/GEAR UP, Upward Bound and Math Science Upward Bound programs within OMA&D’s College Access unit that works with over 21,000 pre-college students statewide.

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Program also received a $1.2 million, five-year renewal to continue its services to prepare UW undergraduates for graduate school and doctoral degree attainment.

“As an organization, we take great pride in our ability to identify and secure a significant amount of federal funding that enhances our ability to broaden access and excellence for students, both here on campus and throughout the state,” said Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer Rickey Hall. “And what is especially gratifying is the fact that we are able to carry out these efforts in collaboration with many schools, school districts, and campus and community partners. The work is not done alone.”

RISE UP (Rural Initiative in STEM Education and Undergraduate Preparation)/GEAR-UP Partnership

OMA&D received a new seven-year, $29.32 million grant under GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) for its RISE UP GEAR UP partnership. The award compliments an existing RISE UP GEAR UP partnership slated to run through 2018.

This new grant will support 5,355 pre-college students at partner school districts in Yakima, Skagit and Klickitat Counties, beginning in the 6th and 7th grades through high school graduation and into their first year of college. GEAR UP is a national effort to help students from low-income families prepare for and succeed in college. The grant serves areas of Washington state with small, rural, agricultural-based communities and high populations of Hispanic, Native American and/or limited English speaking students, as well as high poverty rates, allowing the UW to offer college access opportunities for schools that suffer low academic achievement, graduation and college enrollment rates. OMA&D has administered GEAR UP grants since 1999.

Upward Bound

First-year UW student and former Upward Bound participant Loleena Tang.

First-year UW student and former Upward Bound participant Loleena Tang.Dennis Wise

The longest running College Access program administered by OMA&D, Upward Bound received a five-year, $2.18 million renewal to continue serving 95 students annually at Franklin, Chief Sealth and Cleveland High Schools in Seattle. A new UB grant program was also awarded at $1.28 million over five years and will serve 60 students annually at Kent Meridian High School in the Kent School District. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of TRIO Programs, Upward Bound serves students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or those who will be the first in their family to complete a four-year college degree. Program services include a six-week Summer Academy, as well tutoring, academic workshops, study skills support and various seminars held throughout the academic year to support students in their pursuit of a high school diploma and prepare them to complete a post-secondary education program.

Math Science Upward Bound

Math Science Upward Bound student Souleyman

Math Science Upward Bound student SouleymanDennis Wise

Like UW’s traditional Upward Bound program, the Math Science Upward Bound program received a renewal to its existing grant, as well as a new grant for a total of $2.6 million over five years. The program helps eligible high school students excel academically, get accepted to college and STEM majors, and graduate with a STEM degree. The two grants will serve 125 low-income and potential first-generation college students, increasing the number of students at partner high schools Chief Sealth, Cleveland and Franklin in the Seattle School District and adding students at a new partner high school, Foster in Tukwila.

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

2017 McNair Program Cohort

2017 McNair Program CohortMcNair Program

The grant renewal for the McNair Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of TRIO Programs, supports 27 participants annually from 2017-2022. Services to prepare students for successful doctoral degree attainment feature research experiences with faculty mentors that are presented at national and UW-sponsored research conferences; academic enrichment activities; workshops, seminars and internships to develop research skills and tools to navigate graduate education culture; and advising and mentoring.

Since 1999, the McNair program has graduated 266 students from the UW and placed 198 students in graduate programs across the county. As of June 2017, 41 UW McNair scholars have completed doctoral degrees, 76 have received master’s degrees and 11 have completed professional degrees. An additional 70 students are currently enrolled in graduate school. Many of these students have also competed successfully for national fellowships, institutional fellowships and McNair-program fellowships. Eight UW McNair scholars now hold tenure track faculty positions at various universities across the U.S.

Gabriel Gallardo
Associate Vice President, Student Services and Academic Support Programs

Patricia Loera
Associate Vice President, College Access