The $3 million grant—Graduating and Advancing New American Scholars: Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (GANAS PPOHA)—from the U.S. Department of Education will help the campus increase the readiness of Latinx, low-income, and students of color from UC Santa Cruz and CSU Monterey Bay to apply and succeed in graduate programs.


The GANAS-Graduate Pathways Project includes interventions positioned to address the need to overcome institutional barriers that impede Latina/o graduate student preparation, retention, advancement to candidacy, and completion.

Three strengths drive the Project: a) UCSC and CSUMB, two regional HSI campuses, have both made progress supporting Latina/o, low-income, and students of color to and through the graduate student pipeline; and can, in partnership, accelerate and deepen these efforts to address this equity gap; b) Latina/o graduate students at UCSC are retained, advance to candidacy, and complete graduate degrees at similar rates as White students; and c) the UCSC HSI Initiatives Team has developed expertise in designing and implementing racial equity interventions by using the Practitioner Inquiry Model as a Driver of Change (Dowd & Bensimon, 2015).

The GANAS-Graduate Pathways Project will build on these strengths to open the graduate school pipeline for degree completion for Latinas/os, students of color, and low-income students by addressing the following four gaps in services, infrastructure, and/or opportunities.

  • Gap 1: The relative lack of representation of Latina/o graduate students at UCSC and in higher education nationally, and that is reflected in the equity gap among faculty across the University of California.
  • Gap 2: The gap in rates of advancing to candidacy and degree attainment between White and Hispanic/Latina/o doctoral students.
  • Gap 3: UCSC graduate students, including Latina/o, low-income, and students of color, experience writing challenges.
  • Gap 4: Non-academic barriers, including financial planning/literacy, basic needs, and lack of personal support, can impede students’ progress and completion, especially those who are Latina/o, low-income, and students of color.

The UCSC GANAS-Graduate Pathways Project Budget is $3 million from October 2020 - September 2025.

To read the full abstract, click here.

I. How It Works

Following extensive inquiry conducted by the HSI PPOHA Grant Development Work Group, eight project activities have been precisely crafted to address student-level and institutional challenges and barriers. Each of the eight GANAS-Graduate Pathways Project services reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective and high-impact practices. Activities include three related to Graduate Student Pipeline Interventions (activities 1 - 3), and five related to Graduate Degree Completion Programs (activities 4 - 8). 

  • Activity 1: Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program This summer residential program will engage Latina/o undergraduates in experiential research opportunities that expose them to graduate school pathways and careers in academia.
  • Activity 2: Navigating Graduate School Application Process Course - The course is designed to serve junior and senior Latina/o and/or Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) undergraduate students who are unfamiliar with graduate school and its application process and equip them with strategies to address barriers in this process.
  • Activity 3: Careers in the Creative Economy Course - Pathways to Graduate Degrees in the Arts - This hybrid online and human interactive course will cover financial literacy and career paths for artists and art scholars, and build on prior research and best practices.
  • Activity 4: Financial Planning/Literacy, Holistic, and Basic Needs CounselorThe GSC will serve as a one-stop center for Latina/o and graduate students of color to address non-academic challenges that impede transition and degree completion. Services will emphasize financial planning, budgeting, cost-control strategies, borrowing, and financial literacy.
  • Activity 5: Doctoral Summer Bridge Program - A one-week residential Doctoral Summer Bridge Program focusing on students’ transition to the graduate school environment to help them complete master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • Activity 6: VOCES Graduate Student Writing Center - The center will provide Latina/o, low-income, first-generation, and graduate students of color an array of writing strategies designed to address conceptual thinking, reading/literacy, and multiple forms of writing needed at various stages in graduate student development.
  • Activity 7: Graduate Student First-Year Experience Course: Induction to the Discipline through Collective Learning - These graduate seminars are designed to introduce first-year graduate students to a discipline through a team-taught approach involving six faculty and direct exposure to their research.
  • Activity 8: Latinx Initiative for Future Teachers (LIFT) Credential and Master's Degree - This initiative will provide Latinx Scholars interested in teaching with a streamlined pathway to the Master’s in Education and Teaching Credential (MA/C) Program, as well as mentorship and financial support while they are in the programThis program will provide a streamlined 4+1 Pathway (four years of undergraduate and one year of graduate study), with scholars taking one required MA/C course as undergraduates and receiving preferential admissions to the MA/C Program. 

II. Anticipated Impact

Specific grant outcomes for student advancement as part of the GANAS-Graduate Pathways Project include:

  • Increase the number of Latina/o graduate students enrolled at UCSC by 35%
  • Increase Latina/o graduate students’ writing proficiency by 3 percentage points.
  • Increase Latina/o graduate students’ sense of belonging to UCSC by 12%
  • Increase graduate degree completion for Latina/o, low-income, and graduate students of color by 3 percentage points.