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Latino Student Success Effort in the Commonwealth

Lexington, KY – Latinos are the fastest-growing student population in America and Lumina Foundation is pleased to support the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance, a project led by Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) designed to increase the post-secondary attainment of Latino students. Lumina is investing over $11.5 million in Latino Student Success (LSS) efforts across the country. BCTC received $600,000 from Lumina Foundation to create a cross sector, cross agency partnership called the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance (K’LEA).

Under the specific LSS effort, Lumina is supporting local partnerships in 11 states that demonstrate a commitment to their growing Latino community. This grant effort encourages community leaders across key policy, education, business and nonprofit sectors to build, implement, and sustain “place-based partnerships” that capitalize on their local talents. The Foundation is pleased to work alongside Excelencia in Education and FSG to provide technical assistance and evaluation support to each partnership.

“Lumina’s Latino Student Success effort is an integral part of our commitment to Goal 2025,” said Lumina President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “Through these partnerships, we aim to build bridges among leadership groups already working to improve Latino college preparation, access and attainment.”

Through K’LEA, Bluegrass Community and Technical College is partnering with over 20 partner organizations including the Council on Postsecondary Education to provide sub-grants, technical support, and capacity development to support the creation or enhancement of programs that will foster Latino student college enrollment and completion. K’LEA partners are committed to leading efforts to improve policy and develop data-driven programs for increased college preparation and retention rates. Strategic focus include: 1) prepare and coach families and students for college success; 2) develop and support student engagement; 3) formalize and strengthen transitions and transfers; 4) develop and enrich cultural competency; 5) impact institutional and agency policies and procedures to improve access and retention; 6) advocate for Latino student success; and 7) deepen and strengthen student engagement with professional organizations and networks.

Sub-grants have been awarded to Centre College Warehouse After-School Program, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, Kentucky State University, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Family Services, and the University of Louisville.

At more than 50 million, Latinos represent the largest and fastest-growing population group in the United States. By 2025, half of the nation’s workforce will be of Latino descent. At that time, 63 percent of all jobs in the United States will require some form of postsecondary education or training, according to labor economist Anthony Carnevale of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The strength of this focused Latino student success effort is due to the dedication of many partners striving to reach a national college attainment goal.

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to
enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

Lumina pursues Goal 2025 in three ways:

  1. by identifying and supporting effective practice
  2. through public policy advocacy,
  3. and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.

For more information, log on to www.luminafoundation.org.

Contact (K’LEA)

Erin Howard, BCTC Hispanic/Latino Outreach, (859)246-6436, erin.howard@kctcs.edu.