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Magrath Community Engagement Award Spotlight: Texas Tech

In recognition of their extraordinary community outreach initiatives, four APLU member institutions have been selected as regional recipients of the 2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. As regional winners, Ball State University, University of Florida, Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech will represent and compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award – which will be announced Sunday, November 11 during the APLU Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. In this third of a four-part series, APLU spotlights Texas Tech for its East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood project.

Working under a U.S. Department of Education grant with more than 75 regional partners, Texas Tech’s East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood project has revitalized one of the poorest and most under-served regions in the state and region. Using a community-action research model, Texas Tech formulated evidence-based solutions that empower the community to increase its long-term health, safety, and economic well-being. East Lubbock faces a variety of challenges, including endemic poverty, high rates of child abuse and child delinquency, and a low rate of college attendance.

To increase educational attainment, the project’s early learning initiative provided 62,000 children and families with after-school enrichment programs in music, art, nutrition, and cooking in 2017 alone. High school graduation rates in the area have increased dramatically – from 67 percent in 2013 to 93 percent in 2017.

The program also provides free support for adults aiming to obtain their GED, enroll in vocational training, or take continuing education classes. Documenting and analyzing the variety of the program’s components, the Promise Neighborhood project has resulted in over 11 peer-reviewed publications, two dissertations, and important changes to curriculum for teacher preparation programs.

Learn more about the other 2018 C. Peter Magrath Award Winner finalists.

  • Economic Development & Community Engagement

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