The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has announced the launch of an initiative designed to strengthen partnerships in metropolitan areas that show promise in improving the postsecondary attainment of Latino students.
Through the Latino Success Project, the foundation will award grants totaling $7.2 million to twelve partnerships in ten states working to boost college graduation rates for Latino students. The initiative is part of the foundation's Goal 2025 campaign, which aims to boost the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
Each partnership will receive $600,000 over four years to provide Latino students and families with a wide range of services, including financial literacy training, K12-to-college transition and transfer support, and developmental courses that move students more efficiently toward credit-bearing courses. Recipients include Hispanics in Philanthropy, which will partner with the Adelante Education Coalition to reduce high school dropout rates and increase postsecondary access and success among Latinos in North Carolina's Research Triangle; Miami Dade College, which will collaborate with eleven community-based partners to design and implement a model pathway to college completion; the University of New Mexico, which will partner with Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque Public Schools, local community organizations, and policy leaders to boost Latino student success; and the Hispanic Federation, which will partner with the City University of New York, the NYC Department of Education, Citibank, social services agencies, and select high schools to build a "community of care" in which Latino students are encouraged to develop strong relationships with individuals vested in their achievement.
"Latinos are emblematic of today's twenty-first century student," said Lumina Foundation president and CEO Jamie Merisotis. "They are largely first-generation college students — many of whom are working adults, with family responsibilities who oftentimes begin their postsecondary education in community colleges. Increasing the access and degree attainment rates of Latinos is critical, and our hope is that Latino Student Success will provide catalytic support that can have a positive impact on making all twenty-first century students more successful."