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The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the population of Hispanic Americans will grow to 111 million by 2060, or 27.5 percent of the population, up from 18.5 percent of the population in 2019. Many Latino-enrolling institutions are developing intentional strategies for supporting their Latino students and their success—and these efforts are paying off. The share of Hispanic adults with at least an associate degree has risen 15 percentage points since 2000. Still, a significant completion gap remains. As of 2019, only 27 percent of Hispanic adults had completed an associate degree or higher. compared to 46.4 percent of the overall population having an associate degree or above (adults 25 and older). As Institutions continue to support Latino student success, it is important that they also focus on the needs of the Latino adult student whose postsecondary experiences may be different from students transitioning to college directly from high school.
LASS: A 2019-2021 Adult Learner Academy Cohort
The Latino Adult Student Success (LASS) Academy is a three-year initiative (2018-2021) that is providing tools for Latino enrolling institutions to examine closely how they are serving their adult students, while offering support in implementing new policies and practices to drive better enrollment, persistence, and completion of adult Latino students. CAEL is partnering with Excelencia in Education to support this cohort of Academy institutions, which is made possible with funding from The Kresge Foundation, Ascendium Education Group, and The Greater Texas Foundation.
Helping Postsecondary Educators Support Adult Learners
The initiative is using CAEL’s Adult Learner 360 diagnostic tool to identify areas for improving services to the adult learner at participating institutions. The Adult Learner 360 uses a student survey and an institutional survey in this process. Based on the Adult Learner 360 results, the LASS Academy is helping participating institutions take actionable steps in implementing plans to serve their Latino adult students. The Latino enrolling institutions selected to participate in the LASS Academy are members of a community of practice, meeting in-person annually to learn from each other at the Latino Adult Student Success Convening (LASSC). The LASS Academy is providing technical assistance and tools to participating institutions, including annual stipends to support institutions in implementation of their identified action plans as well as in the collection of data to track their progress.
Austin Community College • Bronx Community College • California State University (Sacramento) • Estrella Mountain Community College • Florida International University • Lehman College • Phoenix College • Richard J. Daley College • South Texas College • Texas A&M University (San Antonio and Corpus Christi) • Union Institute & University • University of Texas (Rio Grande Valley) • University of Wisconsin (Parkside) • West Los Angeles College