One year later, education leaders and philanthropists take stock of movement to improve Latino college completion
- Category: Education
- Published: October 21, 2011
- Written by Hispanic-Today
WASHINGTON, October 21, 2011 — One year ago, 50 national organizations came together under the leadership of Excelencia in Education to embark on a groundbreaking collaboration to make America the world leader in college degrees by specifically focusing on Latinos.
That initiative, Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion, has since grown to include additional partners, whose engagement has given federal, state, institutional, and community leaders specific tools and information to accelerate degree attainment among Latinos.
Today, elected officials, policy makers, education and business leaders, and philanthropists reconvened in Washington to assess the work of the coalition over the past year and to chart a future course.
"Latinos will have to almost triple the number of degrees earned currently for America to return to world leadership in college completion by 2020," said Deborah Santiago, co-founder of Excelencia in Education. "The partners assembled here all embrace that reality and that challenge, and together we have made progress over the past year, but there is much work still to do."
Accomplishments of the Ensuring Americas Future initiative over the past year include:
• The March 9 release of the Roadmap for Ensuring America's Future, a tool for stimulating and facilitating dialogue in communities across the nation about action needed to increase degree attainment generally, and Latino degree attainment specifically.
• The research and release of Latino College Completion Fact Sheets analyzing the state of Latino college completion and highlighting successful programs in California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
• The National Center for Family Literacy's release of new multi-media resources in June to help people unfamiliar with navigating the U.S. college system gain access and information necessary for preparing and succeeding in college and beyond.
• The June launch of Graduation Texas: Engage, Advise, Retain, Graduate, a new project by ACT, Inc. to increase college degree completion among south Texas students through early identification and counseling to first-in-their families college freshman.
• A new expansion in August of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Generation 1st Degree program focused on closing the "degree gap" that exists between Latino students and their peers.
• The September release by the College Board of The College Completion Agenda Progress Report 2011: Latino Edition and The College Completion Agenda Progress Report 2011: State Policy Guide, developed in collaboration with the National Council of La Raza and Excelencia in Education, which contains in-depth findings about the educational progress of Latino students and offers a series of recommendations for addressing the challenges they face.
• Adding 15 new partner organizations to the Ensuring America's Future coalition, bringing to the table national and regional leaders in education, business, advocacy, and philanthropy who are committed to increasing Latino college completion.
"Since we released the Roadmap for Ensuring America's Future in March, our coalition has continued to grow, demonstrating the intense interest nationally in coming together to address this critical strategic need for our country," said Sarita Brown, president and co-founder of Excelencia in Education. "Today's forum is an opportunity for Ensuring America's Future partners to consider the work we've done together during the past year and to collaborate on ways each organization can become more deeply engaged in this movement going forward."
Francisco G. Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System and a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, opened the convening yesterday with a keynote address during a dinner. Throughout the day today, more than 70 people in attendance at the 2nd Policy Forum on Latino College Completion engaged in a series of conversations about the varying roles of philanthropies, colleges and universities, and policy and advocacy groups in improving Latino college completion. The forum speakers today included: Hilary Pennington, director of the Education, Postsecondary Success and Special Initiatives in the United States Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; James Applegate, vice president of the Lumina Foundation for Education; and Wynn Rosser, executive director of the Greater Texas Foundation.
Excelencia in Education's initiative Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Kresge Foundation, Target, and AT&T.
For more information, visit www.EdExcelencia.org
Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based national non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.
Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion
65 National Partners
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of Community Colleges
American Council on Education
Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
Association of American Colleges and Universities
California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
California State University System
Campaign for College Opportunity
CEOs for Cities
City Colleges of Chicago
Complete College America
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute
Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
Council for Opportunity in Education
Educational Testing Service
Edwin Gould Foundation
Florida International University
Greater Texas Foundation
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Hispanic College Fund
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Institute for Higher Education Policy
Intercultural Development Research Association
Jobs For the Future
Latin American Youth Center
League of United Latin American Citizens
Maricopa Community Colleges
Miami Dade College
Midwestern Higher Education Compact
National Association for College Admission Counseling
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund
National Center for Family Literacy
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
National College Access Network
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Council for Community and Education Partnerships
National Council of La Raza
National Hispana Leadership Institute
Nexus Research and Policy Center
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Project Grad USA
Single Stop USA
Southern Education Foundation
Southern Regional Education Board
State Higher Education Executive Officers
Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Joaquin Castro
Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
University of California System
University of Texas, Brownsville
University of Texas, El Paso
University of Texas System
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education