The PASOS grant provides funding for College of the Mainland (COM) to bring transformative changes to the institutional culture both on campus and in the community to improve enrollment and retention trends for underrepresented Hispanic students and to foster a sense of inclusion for students, their families, and community members.  COM will also strive to strengthen student support services surrounding work-based learning and mental health to increase educational outcomes and post-graduation success.

Institutional Cultural Changes

  • Encourage belonging and inclusion
  • Create community outreach programs
  • Provide real-world learning equipment
  • Develop new articulation agreements

Strengthen Student Support Services

  • Increase proactive advising techniques
  • Increase work-based learning support
  • Provide additional mental health services
  • Develop virtual New Student Orientation programming

PASOS Measurable Objectives:

  • Objective 1.1: The number of degree-seeking Hispanic students enrolled at COM will increase 2% annually, from 1057 to 1116.
  • Objective 1.2: Fall-to-fall retention rates for Hispanic students will increase by one percentage point annually, from 64% to 68%.
  • Objective 2.1: The percentage of first-time-in-college (FTIC), Hispanic students enrolled at COM graduating within three years of enrollment will increase from 29% to 32%.
  • Objective 2.2: The number of Hispanic students earning a workforce degree will increase each year by two percent, from 219 to 242.

PASOS Highlights


Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff

Band playing
Event group

About 150 students attended Title V’s Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff to explore diverse Hispanic cultures, share their own backgrounds, and make connections.  After presentations from COM Spanish professor Rafael Naranjo and the Mexican Consulate’s Legal Affairs Representative Juan Carlos Hernández-Wocker, attendees enjoyed pupusas from a local restaurant and embraced the richness of COM’s campus diversity.

Latino Professional Panel

Latino panel

Title V hosted a panel of Latino experts with a wide-ranging experience in fields including higher education and medical.  COM students took advantage of this invaluable opportunity to learn from accomplished community leaders as they spoke about their experiences and gave great advice on how to navigate the path towards achieving personal and educational goals.  They also reminded attendees that aspirations extend far beyond the boundaries of College of the Mainland’s campus.

Motivational Speaker – Ovi Vasquez

Motivational speaker with student

National keynote speaker and author Ovi Vasquez shared with COM students how he went from a being a farm boy raised in a poor Central American village to working for renown corporations including Apple, Uber, Tesla and General Motors. After a dynamic presentation, he answered questions on classroom and career success, networking tips, and getting a head start on goal setting.


Students at event
Student holding lotery card

COM students embraced the beauty of the Mexican culture by getting crafty with papel picado and playing a friendly game of lotería while enjoying each other's company during College Hour.

Community Outreach Library Events

Title V visited Moore Memorial Public Library, La Marque Public Library, Hitchcock Public Library and Mae S. Bruce Library for Día de los Muertos-themed events where children listened to a story and participated in a craft activity.

Fiesta Comunidad

Food stand at event
Dancers at event

Title V wrapped up Hispanic Heritage Month with Fiesta Comunidad, a vibrant community party showcasing diverse Hispanic cultures through musical and dance performances, delicious food, and community engagement. Over 800 attendees also witnessed a rare solar eclipse and participated in a trunk-or-treat hosted by COM departments and local community organizations.


2024 events will be coming soon.