10:03 AM

UST Receives $3 Million PPOHA Grant for Masters in Industrial & Process Chemistry Degree

UST Houston Pipelines and Pathways Project Funded

engineer in oilfieldThe University of St. Thomas has received a five-year, $3 million grant through the Fiscal Year 2025 from the Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) Program of the US Department of Education. UST will develop and pilot a new online master’s program in Industrial and Process Chemistry.

“We are deeply honored to receive this PPOHA grant,” said Dr. John Palasota, professor of Chemistry. “UST received a PPOHA grant in 2009 to develop and deliver online graduate courses for the School of Education and Human Services. Since that time, more than 15,000 students have completed those courses. We are sure that the graduate program in Industrial and Process Chemistry will have a similarly long and successful impact on the UST campus and our student body.”

PPOHA Grant Provides Post Bac Benefits to Hispanic and Low-Income Students

The US Department of Education PPOHA Program provides grants to:

  1. Expand post-baccalaureate educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students; and
  2.  Expand the post-baccalaureate academic offerings as well as enhance the program quality in the institutions of higher education that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and helping large numbers of Hispanic and low-income students complete postsecondary degrees.

UST One of Two Schools to Receive this Grant

This year’s award recipients were the University of St. Thomas and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

UST Partners with UHD to Create a Pipeline of STEM Scholars

As part of a collaboration with University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), UST will create a pipeline from UHD’s STEM Scholars undergraduate program to the MS degree plan in Industrial and Process Chemistry. UHD partner Dr. Mary Jo Parker, director of the UHD STEM Scholars Academy, will serve as the Graduation to Graduate School Guide with support and counseling to graduates coming from UHD to the UST PPOHA program.

Industry Professionals’ External Advisory Board

An external advisory board consisting of professionals in the chemical, petrochemical and oil and gas industries will collaborate on the program’s development and the program curriculum will be submitted for accreditation by the National Professional Science Master’s Association. UST faculty will align the needs of business and industry with the training and curricular needs of students that will enter a variety of STEM career options.

Expert Evaluator Part of Grant Team

The UST Houston Pipelines and Pathways Project program will be evaluated by Dr. Amaury Nora, a life-long researcher and expert evaluator in the field of Hispanics in higher education and STEM.