DTE Energy Foundation awards $100k to the WSU Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies' Summer Enrichment Program

The DTE Energy Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Wayne State University Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies to support its Summer Enrichment Program (SEP). The grant reflects the foundation's mission to support educational initiatives that promote economic progress and employment in Michigan by empowering its students with the skills and talents needed to succeed in their future careers.

Designed to improve retention and graduation rates, SEP is a college-readiness program that helps incoming first-generation and underrepresented college students acquire the key "hard" and "soft" skills needed to smoothly transition to rigorous university-level coursework. Structured as an intensive, eight-week immersion in mathematics, English composition, oral communications and cultural studies, the SEP courses and complementary learning exercises are widely regarded as pivotal to a successful academic experience.

The generous grant, which will enable the center to continue to offer SEP over the next four years, greatly advances the university's strategic plans to recruit, retain and graduate a diverse pool of students who will become leaders in their professions and in local communities. The program has a demonstrated record of laying a solid foundation for their competitive performance in a wide array of courses, especially those in the STEM fields.

"We are honored to support and partner with this program," said Lynette Dowler, president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "'This program provides invaluable assistance to students transitioning to the rigor of college and has a strong track record of making a difference in their academic careers."

"We are grateful for the vote of confidence that the foundation has deposited on our organization's ability to continue to assist students pursuing a cutting-edge academic degree at Wayne State University," said Jorge L. Chinea, director of the center.

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