MAPA Grant Overview

Maximizing Achievement through Preparedness and Advising (MAPA) is a $2.6 million grant spread over five years focusing on strengthening early achievement for underrepresented students.


MAPA funds will build a series of programs aimed at increasing support for high potential students. Each grant element is designed to intervene early and decisively in key areas to improve retention and graduation rates, while strengthening UCSC’s ability to provide essential services for its students and ultimately improve student achievement.


The MAPA Project creates research-based, data-driven, integrated experiences and resources designed to create systemic support Latinx students need to successfully navigate the university.

Programs for implementation include:


  • A redesigned Collaborative Math 2 course  - Our redesigned course provides rigorous work in a collaborative learning environment with expanded support and resources. The course helps address academic literacy/language barriers, in addition to providing early alerts signaling academic difficulty, and the integration of advising for all students.


  • The WORD (Writing Originating from Reading and Dialogue) Summer Writing Institute - Our five week reading program takes place the summer before freshman year at UC Santa Cruz. The institute is taken in two parts: two weeks of the class are in person at one of our regional locations (SF, Oakland, Los Angeles);  and the last three weeks are based online. The analytical course work focuses on reading, thinking, and writing to improve academic success.


  • MAPA Regional Family Conferences - provide families with opportunities to learn about UCSC while supporting their students’ academic journeys. Our conferences are designed to engage families in fun, culturally-relevant activities that focus on the experience of transitioning to UC Santa Cruz for both students and their families.

  • El Centro Internships & Student Focus Groups??


  • MAPA Advising - MAPA changes the traditional advising model by providing direct advising services within a classroom setting. Trained MAPA advisers and student interns meet and strategize with instructional staff on how to set goals and better support students through academic challenges. 


  • Faculty and Professional Development - Faculty and staff are provided with courses and trainings that introduce socially and culturally informed teaching innovations sensitive to a variety of educational backgrounds and needs

Anticipated Impact

Specific grant outcomes for student advancement thanks to the MAPA grant include:

  • a five-year 15% improvement in pass rates in gateway math courses for Hispanics

  • a five-year 20% increase in Hispanic students passing the Entry Level Writing Requirement

  • an additional 150 Hispanic students graduating via the Crossing the Finish Line intervention

  • 80% of gateway course faculty and 100% of advisors/coaches completing MAPA professional development activities

Updates & Accomplishments

We’re excited to share the latest updates on our MAPA grant programs since its launch in 2016:

  • Regional Family Conference 2016 - 317 Students and Family Members attended the regional conference in San Francisco, CA

  • WORD Summer Regional Writing Institutes - 48 students participated in our five week in-person/online 2016 summer writing intensive.

Next Steps

  • Regional Family Conference 2017 - Los Angeles will be the location for our next family conference where we expect more than 300 students and their families. We will also host a conference in Fresno, CA where we anticipate 200 students and families.   



Have questions about the MAPA initiative? Feel free to contact Rene Moreno at or Charis Herzon at