Novel initiative to facilitate completion and career connection for Black students
Miami, August 16, 2021 – JPMorgan Chase announced today a $500,000 grant to help launch the Multi-Organization Supports for Access, Inclusion and Completion (MOSAIC) program at Miami Dade College (MDC), designed to help Black students complete college and connect with careers and jobs in high-demand technology fields.
The MOSAIC initiative promotes access and inclusion by working with those most impacted to identify barriers to college entry and completion and then engaging community partners and influencers to assist in mitigating those barriers. MOSAIC will:
- Use focus groups to engage and survey students, parents and guardians to identify needs
- Partner with community organizations to meet identified needs and deploy resources;
- Establish virtual resource hubs for students and their families;
- Promote organic mentoring through influencers that provide academic, non-academic, and career support to students; and
- Provide tuition and fee support to students in emerging technology programs of study.
A robust evaluation will allow for the effectiveness of the project to be assessed to facilitate scaling, sustainability, and dissemination of findings for portability to other colleges and universities.
“Our work with MDC is driven by our desire and commitment to serve the city of Miami and to make the growing tech industry here as diverse and inclusive as the city itself,” said Maria Escorcia, vice president of corporate responsibility for Florida at JPMorgan Chase. “We believe the best way to do this is by working with local partners that provide educational and career opportunities for underserved communities and individuals. Miami is at the forefront of an industry boom – our goal through this grant is to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to gain the skills they need to benefit.”
An initial review of data shows that while Black residents comprise 18 percent of the population in Miami-Dade County, they only represent 15 percent of the overall student population at MDC. There is also a significant drop in their retention from year to year compared to other students. Additionally, while Black students at MDC graduate at higher rates than all students at the national level, there is a 5 percent gap between their graduation rate and that of other students at the college.
“MDC is committed to training Miami’s future technology workforce,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “With Miami’s growing technology and entrepreneurship ecosystems, no institution is better poised to deliver the talent for this growing workforce. The MOSAIC initiative delivers on closing the gap in attendance and graduation rates for Black students while creating new opportunities in high-demand technology fields.”
MOSAIC activities will include focus groups to better assess student needs, virtual resources hubs where students can access services and information, targeted workforce and entrepreneurship initiatives that promote organic mentoring opportunities, and tuition support for both degree and certificate programs.