PI: Victor Saenz
In the fall of 2010, the University of Texas-Austin, under the direction of Dr. Victor Saenz, officially launched a new research and mentoring effort called Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success). Housed within UT-Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE), Project MALES employs a two-pronged approach—research & mentoring initiatives—to address the emerging gender gap in Latino educational attainment. More specifically, Project MALES encompasses two interrelated initiatives: a research project focused on the experiences of Latino males in secondary and postsecondary education; and, a mentoring project that aims to cultivate an engaged support network for undergraduate Latino males at UT-Austin and aspiring youth in the Central Texas community. Project MALES embodies praxis by fusing these two initiatives in the development of a research-informed project that highlights mentoring as a way to leverage social capital among Latino males across multiple generations. We have done this through the launch of the Project MALES Student Fellows Mentoring Program in 2011-12.
This year the Project MALES Student Fellows Mentoring Program successfully received a grant ($50,000) from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to expand the number of Student Fellows as well as the reach of our mentoring efforts in the current academic year. With these funds, Project MALES is supporting student mentors at UT-Austin for their dedication to mentoring and civic engagement by providing a modest stipend for their efforts. Funding from THECB will also support our administrative and logistic activities involved with coordinating our mentoring efforts with Travis High School and an additional site, Lanier High School, both within Austin ISD. Additional support will also be set aside for the 3rd annual UT Latino Male Symposium (spring 2013).
Emphasizing the importance of the union between groundbreaking research and application, Project MALES is committed to assessment of mentoring and outcomes-based models for the Project. Project MALES will determine its success through tracking longitudinal data on high school students regarding the progression of their awareness of educational resources and interest in a pursuit of higher education. This will be done through exit interviews with the Project MALES mentees. Success will be determined on whether a high school student feels more confident and more prepared for post-secondary education pursuits. While the Project MALES mentees vary between 9th grade and 12th grade, the Project will also evaluate success based on the college-application and college- attendance rates of the high school graduating seniors. The Project will also assess the experiences of the Project MALES Student Fellows and Mentors throughout the year.
For more information on our research or mentoring efforts, visit:http://ddce.utexas.edu/projectmales/.
Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) Student Fellows Mentoring Program
PI: Victor Saenz