The University of New Mexico and its partners are proud to announce the receipt of a $600,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation as part of the Latino Student Success efforts across the country. New Mexico is one of 14 sites in 11 states to receive the award.

What it does?

Under the specific LSS effort, Lumina is supporting local partnerships at 14 sites 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.

Why it’s important?

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.

Why the partnerships are important?

Each of the Unidos partners recognizes the value of communication and has committed to the overall goals of the Latino Student Success initiative. Their willingness to come together to address the issue, independent of the funding, shows a commitment to have representatives at the table to deal with the issue in the broadest sense. Our focus on academic and non-academic factors that impede student success requires that our partnership include actors from both within education and outside of our educational institutions. We understand that:

  • Community organizations are key in creating the “community” that is often lacking within our educational institutions. They are a source of resiliency for our children and youth to ensure that they have every opportunity to succeed.

  • Funding limitations require more collaboration. We need to move our community away from constant competition over limited funding in order to have larger impact.

  • We are squandering our human capital by not finding ways to work together outside of our individual silos. We must find new ways to share knowledge and break down the assumption that we can solve our own problems as institutions without outside help.

APS, CNM, and UNM are the key educational institutions in Albuquerque that can have the greatest impact on the educational attainment of Hispano/Latino youth. They also have a Memorandum of Agreement in place, which was established in 2008. The Unidos project presents an opportunity to take that MOA to a higher level of collaboration and impact.

Our other partners are organizations that serve Latino youth and have been working to increase Latino student success for many years including the Hispanic Roundtable, LULAC, MANA and the Partnership for Community Action. They have also demonstrated efficacy through a number of best practices. These organizations have demonstrated moral commitment and social responsibility for ensuring that Latino youth succeed.

What we hope to accomplish?

Our expected outcomes for Hispano/Latino students are aligned to our primary goals. First, we aim to increase the number of Hispanos/Latinos who graduate from high school by increasing APS’s four-year Hispano/Latino student high school graduation rate to 90% and by bringing back at least 15,000 Hispano/Latino youth and adults to complete a high school diploma or GED by the year 2025. Second, we aim to increase the number of Hispano/Latino students participating in post-secondary education by increasing the college-going rate for APS Hispano/Latino students to 90% by 2025 and by recruiting similarly high levels of GED completers and “recovered” high school dropouts. Third, we aim to increase the number of Hispano/Latino students graduating from two- and four-year colleges and universities by increasing CNM’s Hispano/Latino student graduation rate to 40% and UNM’s Hispano/Latino student graduation rate to 75% by 2025. We will also increase the UNM graduation rate of students who transfer from CNM to 75% by 2025. Through all of these efforts, we expect that Albuquerque-area Hispano/Latinos will earn 25,000 new two-year and four-year degrees and credentials by the year 2025. Combined with the estimated 30,000 degrees that are expected to be added based on current trends (without any new interventions), we anticipate being able to produce 55,000 two-year and four-year degrees for Hispano/Latino students by the year 2025.

UNIDOS Patners


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