Saenz to Lead New Education ConsortiumAugust 14, 2013

Dr. Victor Saenz

Dr. Victor Saenz, head of the new Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color

Victor Saenz, an associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Administration and director of Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), will be heading a newly formed state consortium designed to boost academic outcomes for male minority students.

The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, which formed this summer, is based in The University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) and is a statewide network of school districts, community colleges and public universities. The goal of the consortium is to leverage the collective expertise of partners, align existing male-focused programs among member institutions, advance research on best practices, and improve education attainment for male students of color.

A “Closing the Gaps” report from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board calls for increasing college participation and success for all students, but it emphasizes the need to improve educational outcomes for Hispanic and African American males, specifically.

“We’re committed to addressing the state policy imperative to improve the educational outcomes for male students of color,” Saenz said. According to Saenz, states such as Ohio and Georgia have similar initiatives, but the Texas consortium is unique because it includes representation from all sectors of education, including two K-12 school districts, eight community colleges and four public universities.

Texas A&M University and Luis Ponjuan, the consortium’s chief external evaluator, will have a key role in the consortium. Ponjuan is an associate professor of higher education administration in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M. He has collaborated extensively over the years with Saenz on research focused on males of color in education.

In a November 2011 report (“Men of Color: Ensuring the Academic Success of Latino Males in Higher Education”) co-written by Saenz and Texas A&M colleague Luis Ponjuan, the authors noted that fewer than two in five degrees earned by Hispanics in 2010 were awarded to males.

“This collaborative project allows the state’s two leading research institutions to leverage resources and advance the Latino and African American male educational agenda at the state and national levels,” Ponjuan said.

Funding for the consortium comes from multiyear grants through the Greater Texas Foundation, TG, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Fifty individuals representing each of the 14 institutions met at UT Austin at the inaugural meeting of the consortium in June, and their biannual meetings will continue over the next three years. Their next meeting will be held this December at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.

To learn more about the consortium, please visit the website: http://ddce.utexas.edu/projectmales/texas-education-consortium-for-male-students-of-color/

Consortium partners:

  • The University of Texas at Austin (lead institution)
  • Texas A&M University
  • Austin Community College
  • Austin Independent School District
  • La Joya Independent School District
  • Texas State University
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • El Paso Community College District
  • Lone Star College System (CyFair and North Harris)
  • Palo Alto College
  • San Antonio College
  • South Texas College
  • Tarrant County College District
  • University of North Texas (Denton)
  • Northeast Lakeview College

Adapted from Aug. 14 DDCE press release.

Last updated on August 14, 2013