HSI Bulletin - Winter 2013

The HSI Bulletin

U.S. Department of Education | Office of Postsecondary Education

Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division | Winter 2013

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From the Director

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to welcome 2013 with renewed energy and commitment to the programs we administer. While we are aware of the budgetary uncertainties, we are hopeful that FY 2013 Non-Competing Continuation grants for all programs will be awarded in due time, and we thank you for submitting your Annual Performance Reports.

On another note, we are pleased to inform you that the HSI Division has been hard at work planning the project directors’ meeting and that for the first time this year we will be welcoming over 3,000 grantees from multiple programs throughout the Office of Postsecondary Education.

Finally, as of next week, I will be assuming a new role as Director of the International Studies Division in the Office of International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the HSI Division staff for their collegiality and for their dedication to our mission. It has been a true privilege to work with members of the entire staff. Ralph Hines will join the Division as the new Director. He looks forward to meeting and working with all of you.

 - Sonia Feigenbaum, Ph.D.


Grantee Spotlight

For students at Los Angeles Mission College, the search is over for answers to their most pressing questions about MLA formatting, resume writing and more.

With the robust and growing resources of the Academic Success Center, this southern California college is aiming to create a one-stop shop as part of the institution’s larger plan to improve student retention and progress in disciplines including English, Science and ESL. 

The center was created after the college received a $2.8 million grant in 2009 through Title V, “Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions.”

Now entering its third year, the project has allowed the college to, among others:

  • Develop curriculum that focuses on students’ critical thinking skills;
  • Hire tutors, who work directly with students to increase their reading and writing skills;
  • Create videos that help students better prepare for the crucial English assessment test, Accuplacer, which can dramatically affect students’ studies.

 In a testimonial video, one student credits the Academic Success Center, also known as ASC, with helping her to improve her English grades. After visiting the center 2-3 times a week for about a month, Latasha McClellan said she saw her once-failing grades steadily rise and even received an A- on her midterm exam.

 “Before using the ASC, I lacked confidence and maturity in my writing skills,” McClellan said. “What I like best about the ASC is that the tutors are so willing to help you.”

Staff Introductions

Ralph Hines has held a variety of programmatic and management positions during his tenure with the Department, including Director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and Director of International and Foreign Language Education.

Ralph Hines

Mr. Hines has served the public in a great variety of professional activities, including work with governmental and non-governmental advisory groups and task forces in the United States and abroad that focused on the totality of the federal education effort, particularly in the areas of international education and exchanges, graduate education, and postsecondary education reform and innovation.  His professional activities have included travel and consultations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.  He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Norfolk State University and the George Washington University, respectively, and a Senior Executive Fellows certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Andrea Zimmermann joins the HSI Division as a program and staff assistant.  Andrea comes to the U.S. Department of Education with a breadth of knowledge and experience that surely will be appreciated in the Office of Postsecondary Education. In July, she returned to the U.S. after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Ukraine. While there, she taught at a teacher’s college and gifted high school, where she worked to develop youth leadership programming and innovative teacher training seminars. She also led a citywide HIV/AIDS peer education campaign for the 30 schools in the city and she acquired some proficiency in Ukrainian and Russian.

Andrea received a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from the University of Illinois-Springfield and a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in women’s studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Prior to her time in the Peace Corps, Andrea worked as a freelance journalist for publications throughout her native state of Illinois.

 2013 Directors' Meeting

Remember to register for the Higher Education Programs (HEP) Directors' Meeting scheduled to take place from March 26-28, 2013, at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington, DC.  This meeting has been developed specifically for each grantee's project director or equivalent primary contact person.

Visit hepmeetings.com and register today!  

Competition Update

We are delighted to note that up to this date more than 455 prospective applicants have participated in the DHSI technical assistance webinars. We will be hosting additional informational sessions about the grant application process on the following dates: 

  • 2/21/2013 at 2 PM EST
  • 3/14/2013 at 2 PM EST

Visit this link for more webinar information.