Bank of America grant supports growing Hispanic population at Union College

Bank of America issued a two-year, $220,000 grant to Union College of Union County to elevate and accelerate the path for Hispanic students in targeted health care programs.

The funds will support Hispanic-Latino students pursuing careers in health care through its Progresando Initiative.

Beginning in the fall 2022 semester, Progresando will provide Hispanic-Latino students with career pathways and opportunities in the health care industry. Thanks to the support of Bank of America, Union’s Hispanic students in these programs will receive the help they need to continue their education and get the resources and support for their continued success.

The program was designed to support Union County’s growing Hispanic population and the college’s continued commitment to advancing nontraditional students toward high-demand careers. Union College said that, while nearly 40% of all its students are Hispanic, only 27% of those enrolled in the targeted health care programs are Hispanic. Moreover, despite high proportions of Hispanic residents within Union County and enrolled at the college, Hispanics represent approximately 20% of the county’s health care workforce.

Over the next two years, the initiative is projected to help more than 6,200 Hispanic-Latino students nationwide commit to health care-related programs, doubling the current student rate. Education firm EAB will provide research, technology, marketing and advisory services to the participating institutions.

The Progresando Initiative at Union aims to increase retention, course completion rates and licensure pass rates for the Hispanic adult students in programs such as nursing, physical therapist assistant and social services.

The initiative will focus on providing students with the following:

  • Intensive cohort-based tutoring and test preparation;
  • Emergency financial assistance in the form of stipends;
  • A bilingual student services specialist who will serve as an adviser and mentor;
  • Cultural events and activities at the Union campuses.

“At Union, we are proud to be a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution based on our enrollment of Hispanic students. Almost half of our students are Hispanic,” President Margaret McMenamin stated. “This is a valuable opportunity to help a large, underserved group in our community, specifically in the health care field, a field more necessary than ever. This will be a successful partnership and of great value to our community.”

“By focusing on high-demand programs in the health care sector, Progresando helps create a pathway for Union County’s Hispanic student population toward fulfilling careers,” Alberto Garofalo, president of Bank of America New Jersey, said. “Demand for health care services will only increase in the years ahead, and through this program, we are able to help Hispanic students be part of the solution and create brighter futures for themselves and future generations.”