Seeking to identify and address barriers facing adult students of color, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities announced Thursday a $55,000 grant to the University of New Orleans supporting a university-community partnership aimed at leveraging the assets of Black, Latinx and Indigenous learners.
“This program is going to be invaluable in helping faculty at the University of New Orleans change their perceptions and understanding of Black and Latinx adult learners and dismantle teaching practices that marginalize students of color or ignore adult learners,” said Christopher Broadhurst, associate professor of higher education administration and the grant’s co-principal investigator. “The opportunity from this grant will continue to help propel UNO’s position as the post-secondary education leader in greater New Orleans.”
Elizabeth Blankenship, the director of UNO’s Center for Teaching Innovation, is the co-principal investigator on the grant.
UNO will partner with REImaginelution to address systemic barriers for Black and Latinx adult learners in an urban setting, focusing on preparing faculty for success in teaching. REImaginelution is a New Orleans-based firm that specializes in diversity, equity and inclusion curriculum design and racial equity organizational assessment.
Through the UNO Adult Learner Success Summer Institute, UNO faculty will receive in-depth, expert training on equitable, inclusive teaching practices for adult learners to grow faculty understanding of the unique academic assets and challenges of Black and Latinx adult learners. Through innovative curricular and teaching approaches, UNO will create a program supporting Black and Latinx adult learner retention and graduation.
“Black, Latinx and Indigenous adult learners have an extraordinary set of assets, and we’re thrilled to work with our institutions to address barriers they face to accessing and completing a bachelor’s degree,” said Christel Perkins, assistant vice president at APLU and deputy executive director of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. “These grants will help institutions develop and expand partnerships with community organizations to create an ecosystem harnessing the wealth of experiences and assets these adult learners embody.”
The other seven institutions receiving grants are: California State University, Fresno; California State University, Los Angeles; the University of Colorado Denver; Florida International University, the University of Illinois Chicago; University of Memphis and Portland State University.