Oscar Romero Institute (Title V)

College & High School Partnership for Achievement

Program Overview

CHiSPA (College & High School Partnership for Achievement) is a program that has been designed through collaboration with Saint Peter’s University and several Hudson County High Schools to address the needs of first-generation, low-income, students of color. The focus of the program is to engage Latina/o students and other students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds who may be first generation college-bound individuals. The goal is to provide instruction, activities, and community-focused, project-based learning that will further their academic success and ensure meaningful and relevant opportunities to become prepared for college-level coursework and social interactions. CHiSPA is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education through a Title V grant.

Goal and Objectives

  • An ESOL center, with staffing
  • Enhanced technological resources, including access, at college and high school level
  • Expansion of academic support programs at college and high school level

Fall Semester

During the fall semesters, teachers and students are engaged in process-based teaching and learning in Mathematics and Language Arts. Process-based learning opportunities involve problem-solving, inquiry, and discovery in math, and journaling, researching, and creative writing in language arts.

Spring Semester

During the spring semesters, teachers and students are engaged in community-focused, project-based teaching and learning. The goals of project-based learning are to incorporate and apply the process-based learning skills taught in the fall to specific projects that will deal with relevant topics of interest for the students and their community. Projects may culminate with various outcomes and activities such as public service announcements, raising awareness of community/social justice issues, or multi-media productions.

Other Events

In June, students, teachers and families are invited to Saint Peter’s University for an orientation to the program, including workshops in English and Spanish on financial aid, EOF, and the perspectives of college students on college student life.

Students are invited to campus events throughout the year, such as the play Yo Soy Latina.


Dr. Jennifer Ayala at jayala@saintpeters.edu or Dr. Joseph McLaughlin at jmclaughlin@saintpeters.edu