Thursday, May 10, 2018

URSP Student Marcela Villeda Researches Federal Grants and Their Effectiveness in Providing Equitable Educational Opportunities for Immigrant Students

This project is at the essence of my being. Meaning that the educational success of immigrant students, whether at the elementary level or in higher education is incredibly important to me. However, I had not connected the role of federal grants within the availability of opportunities for students until I volunteered at a Title I elementary school. Title I is the biggest allocation of federal funding for public education institutions. Originally created to alleviate the gaps in education felt by underrepresented communities, the grant has allowed for some positive change to be made in institutions. This project is meant to examine the actuality of these positive changes, from the perspective of administration and faculty that work directly with the allocation of the funding as well as those who have direct contact with the student population.

As a sociology major, I am naturally curious about the inner workings institutions that are responsible for the socialization of the masses. And as a (hopeful) future law student, I am especially curious about education policy reform. This project will allow me to explore the institutions in which I want to make change in, and gain better insight into how they are actually run. On a weekly basis, I focus on literature and research. I work through my paper, as well as retain interviews, conduct interviews, and transcribe interviews. I meet with my advisor weekly also. In these meetings, I tell her my success of the week as well as my goal for that week. One thing I have discovered through this semester, is that people will always surprise you. When it comes to interviews, regardless of how much I have shaped the protocol to get the answers I want / need, nothing will ever go the way I have imagined it. It is both exciting, and terrifying at times.