NWACC Awarded Grant to Grow LIFE Program & Hispanic Enrollment | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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NWACC Awarded Grant to Grow LIFE Program & Hispanic Enrollment


NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) recently received a $432,883 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to grow its LIFE program, a near-peer mentorship program that increases Hispanic enrollment by empowering Latino youth to dream big, pursue a higher education and become leaders on the college campus and in the community.

NWACC plans to use grant funds to increase Hispanic student enrollment to become a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), hire a new LIFE staff member and increase professional development opportunities, and expand current LIFE program offerings.

LIFE’s unique near-peer mentorship program consists of eight current NWACC students who serve as peer leaders who teach, guide and empower high school students participating in the LIFE program and transitioning into college. This program aligns with the Walton Family Foundation’s Home Region initiative that is working to build a more vibrant, inclusive economy in Northwest Arkansas.

“This grant will play an important role in helping NWACC remove barriers in students’ educational journeys,” said NWACC Vice President of Student Services Justin White. “As NWACC celebrates 10 years of the LIFE program, it is important that we reflect on that journey, celebrating our victories while acknowledging our opportunities. We look forward to moving toward HSI designation and utilizing its benefits to improve the lives of our Latino students and community.”

By increasing the college’s Hispanic student enrollment from 22.3 percent to 25 percent, NWACC will qualify for HSI designation. As an HSI, the college will have access to federal and private funding that can help expand academic offerings that positively impact Hispanic student success, retention and graduation, as well as open up scholarship opportunities to students who attend an HSI.

To help increase and retain Hispanic student enrollment, NWACC plans to utilize grant funds to hire a new LIFE Student Success Coach and increase staff’s professional development opportunities. The new position will assist with LIFE students’ transition to and retention in college by ensuring they have the resources and support needed for success, including enrollment assistance, tutoring, counseling and wellness services, as well as provide one-on-one coaching to students and their families.

The college will also utilize grant funds to grow the LIFE program’s offerings, including a Padres program that helps Hispanic parents understand the college preparation and enrollment process so that they can better support their students, a second LIFE Summer Program that invites graduating seniors to NWACC for a day to experience one-on-one support as they prepare for college, and a LIFE Legacy Alumni program that connects previous LIFE mentors who have graduated from NWACC and are now industry professionals with current LIFE mentors who need assistance with pursuing their careers.

There’s a Place for You at NWACC.

Visit www.nwacc.edu or call 479-986-4000 to learn more about choosing a higher education with NWACC.