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HSI Avanzando Grant

The U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program awarded Concordia University Irvine a $3 million grant, the largest federal grant in the university’s history. Concordia’s grant-winning initiative is titled "Avanzando: Access and Success" and will enhance support services for undergraduate Hispanic students. The HSI grant will help Concordia meet the needs of its growing Hispanic population. Concordia is committed to advancing access and success for all students, and to supporting all students’ overall well-being as the university seeks to help them develop as wise, honorable, cultivated citizens.

Purpose

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private Christian university in Irvine, CA, with diverse undergraduate and graduate programs across six schools. With a significant Hispanic population in Orange County, many Hispanic and low-income students at CUI are first-generation college students with limited exposure to university resources. To address their needs, the Avanzando: Access and Success project aims to enhance institutional support for these students. The project focuses on increasing enrollment, transfer rates, retention, and graduation rates for Hispanic and low-income students through initiatives like constructing a student success center, expandin support programs, providing coaching and counseling, and offering faculty development. CUI seeks $3,000,000 over five years to fund these efforts, aligning with priorities for student support and postsecondary education accessibility.

Grant Activities

 

Program Team

Erika Sanchez

Erika Sanchez

Equipped with a bachelor's in Sociology and Biblical studies from Biola University and a Masters in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) from Azusa Pacific University, Erika spent four formative years in the Philippines living in slum communities and launching faith rooted programs that equip and empower urban poor youth to critically address issues of urban poverty, environmental justice, land rights, health, and education in their community. She has 10 years of experience in higher education access work; scholarship development, first-gen support services, etc.  Erika is a proud first generation Latina and Santa Ana native. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Tagalog.

As the HSI Project Director she oversees Concordia University-Irvine's largest federal grant in its history: $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education for its Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program. Her role is to ensure this grant enhances support services for Hispanic students and all Concordia students. 


Joie Annunziato

Joie Annunziato

Hello! My name is Joie (pronounced like “Joey”), and I am so excited to join the Concordia community! I am an alumnus of U.C. Irvine and have my B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior. I am passionate about helping students achieve their goals and succeed in their higher education journey.

A little about me: I love personality tests and all things psychology (I am an Enneagram Type 1 and Myers-Briggs ESTJ). In my free time, I love going on walks, hammocking, listening to podcasts, and spending time with my friends and family.

What I’d love to know about you: your personality type, favorite coffee shop, favorite shop to binge-watch, favorite resource on campus, and how I can better support you!


Jacob Lange

Jacob Lange

Hello, everyone! My name is Jacob, and I serve as the Tutoring Coordinator and Success Coach at CUI. I graduated from Concordia with a B.A. in History and Political Thought in 2021 and received an M.A. in History from California State University, Fullerton in 2023. Now, I help oversee the WINGS Program and direct Peer Tutoring Services at Concordia to provide academic support to students. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, playing soccer, and playing my trumpet.

Valerosos y Curiosos HSI STEM Grant

Purpose

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private Christian university in Irvine, CA, with over 2,500 students across various programs. Its six schools offer a range of majors, including STEM fields. However, Hispanic and low-income students in STEM face challenges with retention and graduation rates due to limited exposure to university services. To address this, CUI's Valerosos y Curiosos project aims to support these students through a STEM Scholars Program. This program includes academic support, mentoring, and research opportunities, along with faculty and staff training to foster a sense of belonging. The project's goals include increasing enrollment, transfer rates, retention, and graduation rates for Hispanic and low-income STEM students. CUI seeks $3,000,000 over five years to fund this initiative, which aligns with priority areas for student support and postsecondary education access.

PPOHA Grant

Program Team

Dr. Tim Young

Dr. Tim Young

Dr. Tim Young currently serves in the School of Education as Director of the PPOHA (Promoting Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans) grant and as the Ed.D mentor and Assistant Professor. Dr. Young is dedicated to creating opportunities for graduate students to excel in their degree programs and to eliminating barriers to student access and success.

Prior to joining Concordia, Dr. Young served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Operations at Vanguard University. In this role, he provided leadership to both student affairs and campus operations departments. He has experience leading and developing teams to foster student success through the development of programs and services tailored to a Hispanic Serving Institution. He also has extensive experience with university operations.

His research has focused on understanding the needs of culturally diverse students and identifying and removing challenges faced by students pursuing degrees, with a particular focus on the experiences of African American students at Christian colleges. Dr. Young also serves as a strategic planning and organizational development consultant for churches and nonprofit organizations, channeling his passion for improving organizational health and efficiency.

As the HSI Project Director she oversees Concordia University-Irvine's largest federal grant in its history: $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education for its Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program. Her role is to ensure this grant enhances support services for Hispanic students and all Concordia students. 


Dr. Kellie Albrecht

Dr. Kellie Albrecht

Dr. Kellie Albrecht is the Assistant Dean for the School of Education, Senior Director of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership program, and a Professor of Education. She is responsible for Ed.D. program operations, program development and improvement, faculty training, curriculum development and assessment, and advising doctoral students with their dissertation research. Dr. Albrecht served as the Chair of the Educational Effectiveness Committee (EEC), a member of the Academic Council and Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Prior to teaching in higher education, Dr. Albrecht was an elementary school educator having taught in grades 1, 4, 5, and 6. Dr. Albrecht's experience teaching in urban schools sparked her passion for educating in diverse settings. Her experience working with culturally diverse and underrepresented children led to an interest in English language development and differentiated instructional practices. Additionally, Dr. Albrecht is the mother of four children, her oldest being identical twin boys. Dr. Albrecht's doctoral dissertation was an interpretive phenomenological analysis focused on identifying twins as a cultural group, which investigated individual needs for educating twins. The dissertation is titled, Beyond Bonded Voices: A Qualitative Study with Adult Monozygotic (Identical) Twins.

Dr. Albrecht's experience in higher education includes MAEd program development and improvement, faculty training and professional development, advising graduate and postgraduate qualitative research projects, teaching undergraduate, graduate, and multiple and single subject credential courses, supervising student teachers in the field, assessing teaching performance assessments (TPAs), and facilitating TPA student workshops.


Julie Stiegemeyer

Julie Stiegemeyer

Currently serves as the Graduate Student Writing Consultant/Success Coach.  Julie has more than 20 Years serving as a  Writing Consultant and English Specialist.  She is a teacher and author, and is passionate about helping students complete their writing projects with confidence.  Her goal is to coach and mentor writers to help them achieve their goals.  Clear writing and communication is at the heart of successful work, for creatives to doctoral candidates, and my strategies can help individuals unlock their potential to complete their projects.


Alyssa Flores

Alyssa Flores

Hi Eagles! My name is Alyssa Flores and I am one of the Graduate Student Success Coaches in the Graduate Resource Center. I graduated from Concordia with my Bachelor's degree in 2022. I am also a first-generation college graduate! When not working, I enjoy reading, crafting, and spending time with my two nephews. I am enthusiastic to start meeting, supporting, and helping you all achieve your goals. Concordia has various resources to help support our students, and I am here to make those easily accessible to you!

 

Executive Grant Team

  • President, Chair of Committee - Dr. Michael Thomas
  • Senior Vice President, Provost - Dr. Scott Ashmon
  • Vice President, CEO - Steve Strauch
  • Vice President, Special Assistant to the President - Peter Senkbeil
  • Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students - Megan Bouslaugh
  • Faculty Member - Currently Vacant

Grant Executive Team, ad hoc members

  • Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services - Steve Jin
  • Vice President, University Operations, Athletics - Tim Odle
  • Senior Budget Manager - Bill Ayala
  • Associate Dean of Student Engagement in Student Affairs - Monique Nunes

Grant Executive Team: Responsibilities

  • Chaired by the University President. The President will report to the Board of Regents on matters involving this project
  • This Committee is charged with ensuring the Title V activities are meeting all goals and objectives and funds are being properly used.
  • Annual reports will be prepared and submitted by the Project Director, reviewed by the project’s external evaluator and Grant Executive Committee, and distributed to the President and Board of Regents of institutional endorsement before finalization and submission to the Department of Education
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