SAC Collaborating with UTSA on New Basic Needs Initiative for Students

February 7, 2020

Russell Guerrero - Strategic Communications Coordinator

San Antonio College, in partnership with the University of Texas at San Antonio, is working on a project to build a state-wide network of Hispanic Serving Institutions to better understand basic needs initiatives support for student success.   

The project is part of the ECMC Foundation’s Basic Needs Initiative. Announced in November 2019, the initiative is the first-of-its-kind effort in the philanthropic and postsecondary education sector designed to address and alleviate basic needs insecurity among students.

Select institutions, including the UTSA-SAC partnership, received grants from the ECMC Foundation totaling $3.1 million over three years to address non-academic issues such as food and housing security, childcare, mental health, financial assistance, and transportation. 

The UTSA-SAC project, titled “Linking Basic Needs Initiatives to Student Success: Building Evidence-Based Practice in Hispanic Serving Institutions in Texas,” received a $313,000 grant and will consist of three phases that will run over the course of two-and-a-half years. During phase one, SAC and UTSA will conduct of survey of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) in Texas. HSI is defined as schools which have a 25 percent or higher Hispanic full-time undergraduate student population. 

The survey will document programs colleges have in place to address the basic needs of its students. For example, both SAC and UTSA have established on-campus food banks to help students who are food insecure.

In later phases of the “Linking Basic Needs Initiatives,” SAC and UTSA will organize a workshop to help colleges develop evaluation and monitoring programs linking basic needs initiatives to student success metrics. In the final phase, SAC will host a symposium to share program results and build a network supporting evidence-based programming.  

ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation’s vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential.