Great Lakes Funds Grant to Bolster Latino College Student Success

Monday, November 21, 2016

With support from Great Lakes and Lumina Foundation, Excelencia in Education will work with HSIs to Identify Barriers to College Completion Facing Latino Students.

While college completion rates for students of color tend to be lower than those of white students, the issue is most acute for Latino students, who lag farthest behind. Only 22% of Latino adults have earned an associate’s degree or higher, compared to 46% of white adults, reports the U.S. Census Bureau.

Great Lakes’ philanthropic mission is to help close the higher education gap for students of color, so we, along with the Lumina Foundation, are supporting Excelencia in Education with a combined $1.5 million in grants as they work to improve the college graduation rates of Latino students.

Since its inception in 2004, Excelencia has worked to identify, evaluate, and expand proven practices that increase Latino graduation rates. Excelencia collaborates with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and helps them implement best practices based on Excelencia’s research and experience. HSIs are colleges that have a student population that is at least 25% Latino. Approximately 80% of Latino undergraduates are attending HSIs or emerging HSIs.

“We are pleased to support Excelencia in Education and Latino student success as part of our mission to improve college completion rates for students of color,” said Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments. “This project will help us learn effective strategies to level the playing field and secure a better future for all Americans.”
With this two-year grant, Excelencia will:

  • Work with eight HSIs in Florida and Texas from 2016 through 2018 to develop and implement plans to increase Latino student graduation rates.
  • Improve and increase the reach of the organization’s evidence-based best practices, promoting their implementation in more colleges nationwide.
  • Encourage more data tracking of Latino students’ persistence and completion rates so Excelencia can continue to learn how to best help Latino students.

In 2018, Excelencia will release two briefs and a final report discussing its research findings and their institutional and policy implications with the goal of improving the success of Latino students nationwide.