NAU-Yuma collageA $3.7 million grant awarded jointly to NAU-Yuma and Arizona Western College has the two schools renovating NAU’s Academic Complex building to include an Academic Success Center.

The schools will work together to solidify orientation, advising, peer mentoring, tutoring, ESL support and individual guidance toward bachelor’s degree completion for all students.

“By locating all of these services in one area, we can literally walk with a student from one point of help to the next,” said Larry Gould, NAU-Yuma campus executive officer and associate vice president. “Almost 100 percent of our students are first-generation college students. We become a second set of parents in terms of helping them, and we do it using a team approach.”

NAU-Yuma and AWC were jointly awarded a five-year Title V cooperative grant award from the U.S. Department of Education to increase retention and graduation of Hispanic college students. NAU-Yuma and AWC are the only Arizona schools to receive the funding.

Both schools are designated Hispanic Serving Institutions and have populations composed of nearly 60 percent Hispanic students.

NAU-Yuma and AWC will be using their joint membership with AVID for Higher Education to explore strategies for preparing all students for college success.