Maximizing Achievement through Preparedness and Advising (MAPA) is a $2.6 million, five-year grant focusing on early achievement programming for underrepresented students to improve their retention and graduation rates.

Abstract  |  Summary Year 5

In the last 25 years, UC Santa Cruz has doubled its size and more than tripled its Latinx student population. While UCSC was recently listed by as first among the top 50 colleges for Latinx students, disparities persist in Latinx student outcomes relative to non-Latinx students. The Maximizing Achievement through Preparedness and Advising (MAPA) Title V Project reduces those disparities by implementing research-based, data-driven, interwoven activities that enable UCSC to put systemic supports in place for Latinx students to navigate the university successfully. Each component intervenes early and decisively in critical areas to improve retention and graduation rates, strengthen UCSC's ability to provide essential services for its students — and ultimately improve student achievement. 

The MAPA project budget is $2.6 million from October 2015 - September 2020.

Grant Initiatives

MAPA creates research-based, integrated experiences and resources for Latinx students to successfully transition into and navigate the university. The grant includes support for academic skills, belonging, and advising in the following areas: 

  1. MATH - The redesigned Collaborative Math 2 course gives students expanded math support with resources to tackle academic literacy/language barriers. The small group sessions and low teacher-student ratio help students prepare for future math classes.

  2. WRITING - The WORD (Writing Originating from Reading and Dialogue) Summer Institute is a five-week summer reading/writing program that gives incoming first-year students the chance to experience university-level reading and writing before their first day on campus. 

  3. SENSE OF BELONGING - The MAPA Regional Family Conferences (currently known as Pathways to College Conference/Webinar Series) allow families to learn about UC Santa Cruz while supporting their students' academic journeys. Our conferences engage families in fun and culturally-relevant activities that focus on the experience of transitioning to the campus for both students and their families.

  4. ADVISING - MAPA Advising changes the traditional model by providing direct advising within a classroom setting. Trained MAPA advisers and student interns work with instructional staff to set goals and support students through academic challenges. 

  5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - MAPA provides faculty and staff with courses and a Multicultural Advising Conference that introduce them to socially and culturally informed teaching innovations for a variety of educational backgrounds and needs.

Anticipated Impact

Grant outcomes 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.