LMU Awarded $1.2 Million DOE Student Support Grant

Loyola Marymount University has been awarded a federal grant that will enhance support services to its low-income, first-generation, and students with disabilities, the Department of Education announced.

The grant, a TRIO-Student Support Services program award for $1.26 million over five years, will fund opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic requirements and motivate students to continue their college education, according to the DOE, the grant provider.

“Consonant with the Catholic, Jesuit and Marymount values of our university, the grant provides a tremendous opportunity to help attract, support, and graduate under-represented students who will benefit from the academically excellent, holistic, faith-based and ethically-minded education at which we excel and for which we are known, especially during these trying times,” said José I. Badenes, S.J., associate provost for undergraduate education and professor of Spanish. “The services that the grant supplies evidence our commitment to our students, especially our most disadvantaged, who are at the center of who we are and what we do as a university. The grant could not have come at a better moment and I am grateful for all the work that went into procuring it.”

The university will launch the LMU Ignacio Program to implement the grant. This program, administered by Academic Affairs, will support low-income, first-generation and students with disabilities in pursuing and graduating with an LMU baccalaureate degree. Each participant will receive a comprehensive set of services including: one-to-one dedicated peer tutoring; proactive academic advising and monitoring; federal student financial aid advising; assistance in completing the FAFSA and finding private and public scholarships; financial literacy education and financial planning for postsecondary education; graduate and professional school selection and enrollment assistance; a robust program of career engagement and preparation; personal counseling and referrals to campus resources as needed; as well as annual cultural events.

A comprehensive evaluation plan will ensure the program consistently meets its objectives and improves student outcomes.

“The existing TRIO program grants have been very successful on our campus, and this grant comes at an opportune time in our history,” said Kathleen Weaver, associate provost for research, professional development, and online learning. “The LMU Igancio program will provide our students with a comprehensive suite of support services, guidance, and planning tools that will help them to thrive as they progress towards a baccalaureate degree.”

TRIO are a continuum of federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to their website. It includes Upward Bound for high school students, Student Support Services for collegiate-level services, and McNair Scholars for graduate students.

“We are thrilled at the enhanced opportunities the Student Support Services funding will create for LMU students,” said Emily Jarvis, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and co-director of the McNair Scholars Program. “LMU has been home to a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant for years now, which helps upper-division students prepare for doctoral studies. The synergy of these programs will be valuable in identifying and supporting our best and brightest students from underrepresented segments of society both in successfully obtaining their bachelor’s degrees from LMU and transitioning to doctoral programs for those students interested in pursuing research.”