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AIM Grant

Accessing Innovative Measures for Higher Retention

The AIM (Accessing Innovative Measures) for Higher Retention grant is dedicated to improving OJC’s low retention rates which will lead to improved graduation and transfer rates, along with higher GPAs. 

The grant award is funded by the Department of Education’s Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program (DHSI). Otero Junior College is designated a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2001, with over 38% of the College’s student population being of Hispanic descent.

Mission Statement – The AIM program will serve, encourage and inspire OJC’s diverse student population by elevating professional development, college readiness, mentoring, and the overall student experience.

Vision Statement – We will “AIM” for higher retention and graduation rates.

Four program focus areas include: 

Building College Readiness through the development of expanded in-person and online orientation programs that help students better understand the processes and expectations of becoming a successful college student. The orientation programs focus on helping families better understand how they can support their student.

Mentoring and Student Support programs pair students with faculty and staff who will serve as personal mentors to help acquaint students with the OJC culture, provide information on services, careers, and give general support to the student through their academic experience at OJC. The mentoring and support programs also include the development of peer mentoring programs, mentoring of new faculty and staff, as well as hiring a case manager who can work with students on issues beyond the expertise of those serving as mentors in the program.

Expanding the Student Experience provide students with additional opportunities to work with faculty to gain experience related to their studies outside the classroom. OJC faculty have the opportunity to develop research projects with students or to include service learning components into their coursework.

Professional Development is a major component of the grant. Professional development opportunities focus on culturally-responsive teaching.

The grant is an institutional development grant with the funds to be used to develop programs, so that OJC can better serve its students and increase performance outcomes.


AIM staff will be offering workshops to help students be more prepared for college. Each workshop will be focused on the students’ success. Workshops will provide and include, but not limited to, success strategies, note taking, time management, communication skills, test-taking strategies, stress management, memory improvement, financial aid, and online class tips. These workshops will be offered for the students through virtual means of communication. In person workshops will be an option in the future. AIM’s focus is to help and encourage the students achieve their goals. These workshops are just one factor that will assist in reaching that intent.


Join us for a Q/A Zoom Room Orientation!

August 9




Join Zoom Meeting

or call: 1(346)248-7799 US Houston

Stay posted for more details!

AIM Grant Case Manager

Julie McClure AIMS Case Manager

Julie McClure, MEd OTR/L
AIM Grant Case Manager
Learning Commons Rm 124

P: (719) 384-6811


My Job:
As the AIM Grant Case Manager, I am here to help students thrive in their life at Otero Junior College. I am available as a resource to ALL students. I am also eager to consult with staff, faculty, friends and parents as well.  I am able to support students who are dealing with challenges relating to medical health, mental health, financial concerns, family challenges, or social/adjustment issues. I can also utilize my extensive knowledge of campus and community support systems to provide timely connections with resources that can help.

As the Case Manager, I take a holistic approach in my work. This means that I am an active, empathic listener and focus on the whole person in front of me. My goal is to join with students in tackling challenges so that they do not feel alone in the process. Ultimately, I am here to ensure that students are successful during their time at Otero Junior College!

Case Management assists ALL students to reduce the adverse impact of challenging situations through connection with campus partners, community resources and support systems, encouraging success through individualized planning.

Areas of support:
     • assists students facing barriers to success on and off campus
     • assists students during difficult situations (medical, mental health, behavioral, personal or family crisis, illness or injury)
     • promotes student success
     • provides crisis prevention and intervention, advocacy, resources and referrals, support and follow-up services
     • provide resources/ guidance regarding financial assistance (food insecurity, homelessness, emergency funding to meet basic needs)


AIM Mentoring Program:
Accessing Innovative Measures for Higher Retention

Melanie Culver AIMS Mentoring Coordinator

Melanie Culver
AIM Grant Mentoring Coordinator
Learning Commons 

P: (719) 384-6880

My role as the mentoring coordinator is to match eligible students with a faculty, staff, or peer mentor and track their progress in the program.  Please contact me if you would like to be a mentor or mentee, I am located in the Academic Success area of the Learning Commons.

Objectives of the AIM Mentoring Program
• Foster relationships between students and faculty and staff.
• Sensitize faculty and staff to issues students face on campus.
• Assist students to adjusting to campus life.
• Increase retention and graduation rates of all students, especially low-income and Hispanic/Latino students.
• Assist students in finding both on and off campus support services.

What a Mentor Is . . . 
A mentor is . . . 
• A knowledgeable and experienced guide who teaches (and learns) through a commitment to the mutual growth of both mentee and mentor. 
• A caring, thoughtful, and humane facilitator who provides access to people, places, experiences, and resources outside the mentee’s routine environment. 
• A role model who exemplifies in word and deed what it means to be an ethical, responsible, and compassionate human being. 
• A trusted ally, or advocate, who works with (not for) the mentee and on behalf of the mentee’s best interests and goals.