Campus Life

USU Access and Diversity Center Awarded IME-BECAS Program Grant

Utah State University’s Access and Diversity Center received its first major financial awarding a few months after the center opened its doors July 1, 2010.

The center was awarded the IME-BECAS Program Grant in the fall to support the educational endeavors of Mexican immigrant students.

Sponsored by the Institute for Mexicans Abroad and University of California, Berkeley, student grants were presented to 15 high-achieving students who demonstrated a significant financial need. The maximum award of $5,000 per student must be used to subsidize university tuition, educational materials and/or housing. In return for the scholarships, IME-BECAS recipients participate in existing Access and Diversity Center leadership programs that include event planning, community outreach in local public schools and higher education family awareness activities such as the annual Latino Family Day.

“Higher education can be a formidable challenge to many underrepresented populations,” said Michelle Bogdan, director of the Access and Diversity Center. “With an increasingly diverse student body, it has become more crucial than ever that students have access to additional funding sources to help them meet their educational goals.”

The IME-BECAS Program Grant helps eliminate one of the hurdles many students face accessing higher education. The grant not only supports the educational needs of current USU students but also provides the opportunity to transition students into the community as trained leaders and role models to future Aggies in the public schools.

The grant furthers the principles set by the Morrill Act of 1869 which established the land-grant university system across the nation. The act contemplated that these institutions would be seen as “the people’s universities.” As Utah’s land-grant university, Utah State University has taken on the moral obligation to ensure that the citizens of the state have access to higher education opportunities. Barriers to higher education are particularly challenging for first and second-generation immigrant students. It is the mission of the Access and Diversity Center to remove these barriers and create pathways to higher education.

The center has many tailor-made programs to serve multicultural, nontraditional, veteran and LGBTA USU students, as well as students in the Cache Valley elementary, middle and high schools. These programs have been designed to support students as they make the transition to higher education and to graduation.

“Students served by the Access and Diversity Center find a welcoming and supportive place to celebrate their individual differences while feeling connected to the campus community,” said Bogdan.

The Access and Diversity strives to offer quality services for all students while providing targeted support to first-generation and historically underserved students. Through collaborative work in the division of Student Services and with academic departments, programs are designed to promote student recruitment, retention, leadership development, cultural understanding, inclusion and a positive relational climate on campus.

Related link:

USU Access and Divesity Center

Contact: Access and Diversity Center, 435-797-7118

Todd Milovich, Michelle Bogdan, students, USU Access and Divesity Center

Todd Milovich, program coordinator (left) and Michelle Bogdan, director of USU's Access and Diversity Center (right), with students. The center removes barriers and creates pathways to higher education for an increasingly diverse student population.

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