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Online Resource Center Aims To Improve Latino College Student Success


Most people are probably not aware that more than six-in-ten of the nation’s Latino undergraduates are enrolled in only 11 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities. A new online resource center, the Hispanic SERVING Institutions Center for Policy and Practice, will provide comprehensive information on these Hispanic-Serving Institutions, also known as HSIs, whose student bodies are over one quarter Hispanic.
“This new center will help us fill an important void for policy makers and institutional, community, philanthropic, and business leaders seeking to better understand HSIs in order to improve Latino student success,” said Excelencia in Education vice president Deborah Santiago.

Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit that uses data and analysis to identify and promote best practices in order to increase Hispanic college completion, will launch the online center in September with a grant from the nonprofit TG corporation.

Nationally, only 20 percent of Latino adults have …

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Why They Shouldn’t Be Called “Dropouts”


From the moment Luis E. Mateo started high school in Lowell, Massachusetts, almost ten years ago, he never felt safe. He remembers being bullied almost immediately—first for simply being a scrawny freshman, and later because of his race. Meanwhile, his home life was chaotic; he and his mother frequently fought.

“It was like, ‘where do I belong?’” he said. “I didn’t have support from [school] friends, and didn’t have support when I came home.”

Mateo went to the guidance counselor’s office a couple of times to address the bullying, but says he only felt lectured there. One day, after a blowup with his mother, Mateo says she kicked him out of the house. The next day, he got in a physical fight with one of his bullies. That’s when he went to the guidance office and announced that he was leaving school. The counselor urged him to stay, …

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How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

symphony - Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Photo: Santa Celia Orchestra

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in L.A.’s Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

“I brought my dad, my stepmom,” she says, “my sister, my brother and my sister’s cousin…”

That’s the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

“What’s happening onstage is wonderful,” De Leon De Vega says. But another thing that’s great at our concerts is what’s happening in the audience.”

About 85 percent of the audience is Latino, and spans all ages. They sit mesmerized, pretending to conduct along with De Leon De Vega, her flowing, wavy brown hair …

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