AAP research program renamed to honor Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins, Jr.

The Academic Advancement Program (AAP)’s Community Development and Social Justice Program has been renamed to honor John Huggins, Jr. and Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, two Bruins who fought for community and justice at UCLA.

The program is now called the Carter-Huggins Community Development and Social Justice Program. The Afrikan Student Union advocated for the change.

The Community Development and Social Justice (CDSJ) Program provides AAP undergraduate juniors and seniors with a service learning opportunity that integrates research and community-based practice in preparation for graduate study in social welfare, public policy, urban planning, and public health. Additionally, students are paired with an AAP Graduate Mentor who provides mentorship in their personal and academic development as well as advisement on the graduate school application process.

Carter and Huggins were both murdered during a meeting of the Black Student Union in Campbell Hall on January 17, 1969. AAP commemorates their deaths every year at the Carter-Huggins Annual Memorial, and the new name was announced at this year’s memorial on Jan. 19.

Charles Alexander, associate vice provost for student diversity and director of AAP, said paying tribute to Carter and Huggins by renaming the program after them was long overdue.

“They both were students working to bring diversity and a new perspective to higher education as it relates to social justice and inclusion,” Alexander said.

This scholarship is appropriate to be named after Carter and Huggins because they always prioritized working for the community, and the CDSJ program encourages doing research in the same communities to make impactful change, said Alexandria Davis, fourth year political science and African American studies major and ASU chairperson.

“It was important to my staff and I because without John Huggins or Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter’s activism and sacrifice we as Black students probably couldn’t attend UCLA or do the work that we do,” Davis said. “These men were members of the High Potential Program that got more Black students to attend UCLA and became what we know as the Academic Advancement Program, which directly serves our community.”

New majors, changes to existing minors’ names, curricula announced

The community engagement and social change minor changed its name this fall from the civic engagement minor.

The change intends to better reflect the component of the curriculum that involves field-learning through community involvement, said Douglas Barrera, the associate director at UCLA Center for Community Learning, the department under which the minor is housed.

New data shows Academic Advancement Program is closing achievement gaps

Research conducted by the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) has found that students in AAP have higher graduation rates compared to the overall underrepresented minority student population at UCLA – evidence that AAP is helping to close achievement gaps between underrepresented minority students and non-underrepresented students.

AAP provides academic support for first generation, low-income and students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education through mentoring, workshops, research programs, counseling, scholarships, peer-facilitated learning, and more.

AAP’s Assessment, Research and Evaluation team analyzed graduation rates, breaks and stops in enrollment, and GPAs of AAP students of freshmen standing that entered UCLA in fall 2012 (a total of 989 students). Of the students in the 2012 cohort, 70 percent graduated in four years, 87 percent graduated in 5 years and 89 percent graduated in 6 years.

The five-year graduation rate of AAP students was only 5 percent lower than that of non-underrepresented students. This is a smaller gap than the general underrepresented minority student population (including both AAP and non-AAP students), in which the five-year graduation rate was 8 percent lower than non-underrepresented students.

At the six-year graduation rate, AAP students again performed better than the general underrepresented minority population. The graduation rate was just 3 percent shy of the non-underrepresented population, compared to 7 percent lower among the general underrepresented minority population.

Charles Alexander, associate vice provost for student diversity and director of AAP, said AAP has been on a quest to evaluate and assess its students’ progress and graduation rates for the last four years. The data will help identify areas in which AAP can provide academic and student support services in a more targeted manner.

“I believe the increase in graduation rates for underrepresented minorities have to do with quarterly monitoring of academic progress by our counselors and being able to provide support services such as peer learning, emergency crisis support, and financial assistance,” he said.

Disabled dancers learn to redefine the aesthetics of movement at UCLA

As the 10 dancers moved across the studio floor in Kaufman Hall, their instructor closely watched how each dancer’s body movements transitioned from one to the next.

Victoria Marks, associate dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and professor of choreography, offered encouragement and challenged the dancers to pay closer attention to the way they could shape space both individually and in pairs.