Union College Receives Bank of America Grant to Support Growing Hispanic Population at the College

CRANFORD, NJ – Union College of Union County, NJ is announcing it has received a grant from Bank of America to elevate and accelerate the path for Hispanic students in targeted healthcare programs.

The two-year, $220,000 grant will support Hispanic-Latino students pursuing careers in healthcare through its Progresando Initiative. The program was created to help Hispanic-Latinos achieve upward economic mobility through careers in healthcare, while also helping to increase representation and address the shortage of culturally sensitive, Spanish-speaking health providers.

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

The Progresando Initiative at Union aims to increase retention, course completion rates, and licensure pass rates for the Hispanic adult students in targeted healthcare programs such as Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Social Services. Progresando supports Union County’s growing Hispanic population and the College’s continued commitment to advancing non-traditional students toward high-demand careers. While nearly 40% of all Union College students are Hispanic, only 27% of students enrolled in the targeted healthcare programs are Hispanic. Moreover, despite high proportions of Hispanic residents within Union County and enrolled at the College, Hispanics represent approximately 20 percent of the county’s healthcare workforce. The initiative will provide these students space to collaborate, receive resources, and access to various support networks to promote academic and career success. 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 advisor 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,” states College President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin. “This is a valuable opportunity to help a large, underserved group in our community, specifically in the healthcare 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 healthcare sector, Progresando helps create a pathway for Union County’s Hispanic student population toward fulfilling careers,” said Alberto Garofalo, President of Bank of America New Jersey. “Demand for healthcare 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.”

Beginning in the fall 2022 semester, Progresando will provide students with career pathways and opportunities in the healthcare 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 Progresando initiative is available for current and potential students. For more information about Progresando eligibility, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Ramos, Dean of the Elizabeth Campus and Institute for Intensive English at Ramos@ucc.edu.