How Stumbling Freshmen Get Help at Highland University

Freshmen at New Mexico's Highland University will benefit from $500,000 worth of help with their science homework from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the university's Achieving in Research, Math and Science Program (ARMAS). ARMAS is a warning system for catching students who have a hard time with science before they have a chance to get discouraged and demotivated. Specifically, the center caters toward students who "declare a science major but aren't prepared for college-level coursework, especially in math and science," according to ARMAS director Edward Martinez.

Kellogg's money will bolster resources for computers, textbooks, and more hours worth of staff support at ARMAS. The grant will also allow the center to introduce a new fundamentals course at Highland to be taught by a rotating cast of three professors from a variety of disciplines. Beyond the new course, the $500,000 will provide Highland faculty with new funding opportunities for original research, expand professional development, expand the hours the center can stay open, create a position for an internship coordinator and a paid internship program for students compliments of several organizations including the Hermit's Peak Watershed Alliance and the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge.

The grant from Kellogg represents the center's first foray into the world of private sector partnerships. So far, the foundation has a lot of positive things to say about ARMAS's operation. Kellogg Foundation's education and learning program director Edward Martinez praised the center's penchant for data collection on student performance and their cultural sensitivity as well.

Since May, the foundation has gotten involved with several other programs that place an emphasis on racial and other types of inequalities; this appears to be shaping up as a new initiative for them. Kellogg gave $3.6 million to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) this past May to fund advocacy for education on workforce development, health and homeownership for Latino children and their families in the US. Another $3.6 million went to The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) to help them achieve their mission "of serving as a forum for unified policy development" on behalf of Alaskan Native and American Indian tribal governments.