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Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces Nearly $3 Million to Promote Graduate-Level Opportunities for Hispanics at TAMIU

Washington | Arturo C. Olivarez, DC Press Secretary (956-970-1441), April 11, 2023
Tags: Education

Laredo, TX - Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $2,910,420 in federal funding for Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) to promote graduate-level opportunities for Hispanics through their Next Level Engineering (NLE) Project. 

The Project will expand courses and institutional resources for Hispanic graduate-level students by developing a Master of Science (MS) in Systems Engineering and graduate certificates in engineering fields. A MS in Systems Engineering can lead to career opportunities in aerospace and defense, software development, engineering services, automotive manufacturing, information technology services, medical device manufacturing, and many more rewarding fields. 

“Despite Hispanic graduate student enrollment increasing at a faster rate than other groups, this enrollment increase has not yet closed the significant gap in attainment of graduate credentials between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White adults,” said Congressman Cuellar. “There is potential for greater earnings, job security, and employment options for Hispanic students who enroll and attain credentials beyond a bachelor's degree. Through the NLE Project, TAMIU will help Hispanics achieve that potential. I want to thank Texas A&M System Chancellor, John Sharp, and TAMIU President, Pablo Arenaz, for their commitment to expanding educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans.” 

“As an appropriator, Congressman Cuellar ensures that programs of impact to Texas A&M University System universities and students are robustly funded” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp.  “This is particularly true for the Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans grant program, and I look forward to seeing the benefits of this federal grant funding for our engineering students at TAMIU.”  

“These sorts of opportunities help to define and distinguish a university experience for its students.  Cong. Cuellar has always been a stalwart University partner and a keen advocate for STEM for all, so this is a powerful extension of his legacy here.  His leadership, paired with the shared vision of our A&M Chancellor John Sharp, enables us to make a profound difference in the lives of our students by expanding both their graduate study opportunities and the career options that will open to them,” said TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz.

The Next Level Engineering Project at TAMIU will provide resources and program innovation to a Hispanic-Serving Institution with an 89.3% Hispanic and 76% low-income, and over 51% first-generation student population.

The TAMIU NLE Project will seek to meet students’ needs and improve retention and competition by:

  • Expanding graduate course offerings with a new MS in Systems Engineering program embedded with flexible engineering graduate certificates and work-based experiential educational opportunities.
  • Establishing a mentoring program that serves 150 URM engineering students per year
  • Decreasing advising errors for undergraduate engineering students by 90%.
  • Utilizing new technology to improve student learning outcomes within engineering courses.
  • Offering professional development to meet students’ holistic needs and bring diversity, equity, and inclusion to the forefront within TAMIU’s School of Engineering.
  • Increasing the number of URM students entering and earning STEM graduate degrees by 30% over a five-year period
  • Enhancing the PhD pipeline for URM students.