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Concordia Awarded $3 Million Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Grant

Concordia Awarded $3 Million Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Grant


Irvine, CA., May 4, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Education’s Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program (PPOHA) awarded Concordia University Irvine a $3 million grant. Concordia’s grant-winning initiative is titled “Vocación” and will positively impact Hispanic graduate students in the School of Education.

“The awarding of this grant will enable us to support Hispanic graduate students in a more robust way, with enhanced support services and increased scholarships,” said Concordia’s president, Dr. Michael Thomas. “It also validates Concordia University Irvine’s ongoing partnership with the Hispanic communities in Southern California as we faithfully train up the next generation of leaders who embody our mission as we form ‘wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens to serve the church and the world.’”

The PPOHA grant will help Concordia enroll and equip future Hispanic teachers, school administrators, and K-12 district leaders. Concordia’s program is designed to graduate Hispanic educators so that the percentage of Hispanic leaders in education will better reflect the Hispanic student population in California. The PPOHA grant provides $600,000 per year over the next five years starting this October. Concordia's PPOHA grant-funded activities will include:

  • Increasing access for Hispanic students to the Master of Arts in Education program, the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program, and the Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.) program; 

  • Creating an on-ground and online graduate resource center for multi-tiered support; 

  • Launching a faculty mentoring program for Ed.D. students;

  • Designing a clearer pathway from the Education master to doctoral level;

  • Providing professional development for School of Education graduate faculty and course developers; and 

  • Hiring four new positions: an Ed.D. faculty mentor/program director, two additional graduate academic advisors/success coaches, and an additional Writing Center consultant qualified to mentor graduate students.

“We are honored to have been awarded this grant by the U.S. Department of Education,” said university vice president, Dr. Peter Senkbeil. “Our School of Education is looking forward to launching these new initiatives next fall. We’ll spend this spring and summer planning for these activities and interviewing candidates for the grant-funded positions, so that we’re ready to begin in October, 2023.”

Concordia is committed to advancing access, affordability, and success for all students, and to supporting all students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being. The $3 million PPOHA grant will help further Concordia’s mission with respect to enrolling and graduating more Hispanic postbaccalaureate students in the School of Education. It comes on the heels of another $3 million federal Title V grant awarded to Concordia last fall to provide additional student success resources to support Hispanic undergraduate students. These two grants together represent the largest amount of direct federal funding received by Concordia in the university’s history.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine, part of the Concordia University System, is a private, nonprofit Christian university that is proud to be one of the founding institutions of higher education in Irvine, California. For nearly 50 years, we have prepared students for lives of learning, service, and leadership through distinctive Lutheran education. Today, we educate nearly 4,000 students on campus and online, and our alumni network has grown to over 25,000 worldwide. We’re recognized as a top-ranked university for Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report and a fierce NCAA Division II PacWest competitor. Learn more about our mission, community, and heritage.

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