The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $2.3 million to Hostos Community College’s “Hostos Oasis for Parents’ Education (HOPE): A Holistic Two-Generation Approach to Improving STEM Education in the South Bronx” program. This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The HOPE Team consists of Principal Investigator Sarah Hoiland, an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department, and Co-Principal Investigators Associate Professor Elys Vasquez-Iscan, Instructor Norberto Hernández Valdés-Portela, Assistant Professor JungHang Lee, and Assistant Professor Biao Jiang from the Education Department, Behavioral and Social Sciences Department, Mathematics Department and Natural Sciences Department, respectively.

In reflecting on writing the grant, PI Hoiland said, “I wrote this proposal after one year of pandemic teaching and hearing countless stories of student parents working full-time jobs, taking 15+ credits, and helping their own children with online school. My students inspired me. They were hopeful. I wanted to provide them with an oasis where they could learn uninterrupted and their children could have a college experience. There was urgency. As one year of online learning quickly stretched into two for many, our team worked together to submit our proposal. Our HOPE Team is incredibly well-rounded and deeply committed to the Hostos mission, the HOPE Project, and research that will inform programming and funding.”

HOPE is a Two-Generation (2Gen) STEM summer program for college-ready parents and their children. It offers STEM and social science courses in a holistic 7-week program for student parents, “HOPE Scholars,” and a STEM-focused on-campus Academy for their children, “Academy Scholars.” HOPE Scholars will earn 6-7 college credits with wraparound support services. A bedrock of HOPE is an online professional development (PD) course, which will be an open educational resource (OER) for teaching faculty and pre-K-8 Pre-Academy and Academy teachers with concentrated focus on Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs), a High Impact Practice (HIP) designated by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Approximately 400 participants will participate in the HOPE Program over the five-year grant period.

The HOPE Program’s 3D Model came from both practical experience and the existing literature, particularly the work of a Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) team who surveyed student parents and identified ‘time poverty’ to be a major obstacle to success (Wladis, Hatchey, and Conway 2016).

Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis remarked, “I am extremely grateful and proud of our faculty and their dedication to solving educational challenges in innovative ways and I am looking forward to hearing progress made as we institute this powerful project.”

Recruitment for HOPE will begin early in 2022!