Luna to lead as Title V Project Director

PLAINVIEW — Jonathan Luna has been named Wayland Baptist University’s Title V Project Director, taking the lead on Wayland’s $3 million U.S. Department of Education grant funding for the “Pioneering Greater Access for Hispanic Students through Enhanced Student Support” program.

“We are thrilled to have one of Plainview’s and Wayland’s own serve as our new Title V Grant Project Director,” said Dr. Cindy McClenagan, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “A graduate of both Plainview High School and Wayland, Luna has the skills, drive, and personality to carry our Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant to its fruition. Over the next four years, Luna will lead Wayland in continuing to develop and foster higher education opportunities for minority and first-generation students.”

Having already found success with the first year of grant funding, Wayland is moving toward the second year of the program designed to improve support for Hispanic students, expand information systems, improve student success, increase fall-to-fall retention, and improve four-year graduation rates.

“I am truly blessed to have received the opportunity to take on the responsibility of the Title V Grant Project Director,” said Luna, who has served as the university’s Title V La Familia Outreach Specialist and as an adjunct professor.

“Serving as the new Title V Grant Project Director, I have been given the ability to target a population of students that I can relate to, which is first generation and Hispanic based students,” Luna said. “With Spanish being my first language and my parents never having the opportunity to attend high school in Mexico, they encouraged me to pursue higher education, although they had no idea how to help me get there. This is the same situation for a lot of the families I hope to have an impact on.”

A bi-lingual higher education professional, the new director said he hopes to create strategic initiatives that specifically target the Hispanic community and provide in Spanish the proper resources and information needed for students to be successful in the college process.

“One of the reoccurring issues across the nation is the continued dropout rate of Hispanic students after their first year in college,” Luna said. “For the students that attend our campus, I would love to create an environment and community that provides an opportunity for them to stay plugged in and want to continue because they feel involved and cared for.”

Luna holds three degrees from Wayland — a Bachelor of Science in Fitness Management, a Master of Education in Sports Administration and Management, and a Master of Education in Secondary Education Certification. He served as an Admissions Assistant from 2016 to 2019, before becoming an Enrollment Coach. In January 2023, he became the university’s Title V La Familia Outreach Specialist, one of several student support positions included in the grant.