The main focus and goal of the Cardinal Latina Mentoring Program is to increase the retention, persistence and graduate rates of UIW undergraduate Latina students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, health, education and business. The success of the program will be measured by the overall and semester GPA of each individual student, on-time course completion, retention, persistence and four-year graduation rates as well as the gainful employment and/or participation into a graduate or professional school program after graduation from UIW.
The University of the Incarnate Word's Ettling Center for Civic Leadership (ECCL) will coordinate this initiative on the university campus in collaboration with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC). This collaborative effort between the two entities has allowed both organizations to emphasize their strengths to benefit this initiative. For example, the Ettling Center plays a key role in the development and implementation of the mentoring training and curriculum for this program, while the Hispanic Chamber provides expertise in leadership development and curriculum.
Participants of the mentoring program are required to attend mentor/mentee trainings, events, discussions, and social programs in order to ensure strong and impactful relationships are developed and maintained between the mentor and their mentee.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy published Pathways to College Network in 2011 nothing the importance and critical impact mentoring can have on students, specifically minority students.
The inaugural cohort of Cardinal Latina mentees have 100% retention from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016 and posted an average GPA of 3.03 entering the 2016- 2017 academic year, both measures are higher than the traditional UIW student profile. Moreover, one of the Mentees have recently been admitted to the Nursing program at the University of the Incarnate Word's Miller School of Nursing & Health Professions.