Lumina Foundation Investment in Latino Student Success Key to Our Economic Future
(Santa Ana) - In its second year, the Santa Ana ¡Adelante! program is showing signs of significantly enhancing student success at Santa Ana College (SAC). In fall 2011, 1,094 Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) graduates entered SAC as the first cohort of students to benefit from this effort to boost student success and graduation rates. Of these students, 754 students have persisted and remain enrolled in their third semester of classes this fall. This represents 68.9 percent of the original cohort.
“We are so pleased that the Lumina Foundation’s investment in Santa Ana is positively impacting our community,” said Erlinda J. Martinez, Ed.D., president, Santa Ana College. “The first cohort of Adelante students is persisting to a third semester of study at a rate that is almost 12% higher than the general population of Santa Ana College’s students.”
Among these students is 19-year-old Sonia Sanchez, a graduate of Santa Ana High School. Sanchez enrolled at SAC for the first time in fall 2011. She is majoring in biological sciences and intends to become a doctor. Her goal is to transfer to UC Irvine or Berkeley. With a 3.3 grade point average, she is well on her way. She attributes her clear direction in her academic goals to the Santa Ana ¡Adelante! program.
“The Adelante program is important because by setting my educational plan early, I have a goal and I’m going for it,” said Sanchez. “Without help from a counselor and my plan, I would feel lost. I would take classes that I think are right and they might not be. I would have been stuck in community college longer and would have felt frustrated and might have stopped with my associate degree.”
Last year, Santa Ana ¡Adelante! was selected by the Lumina Foundation for funding to support the Santa Ana Partnership’s work to increase post-secondary attainment of Latino students. The Lumina Foundation Grant will provide a total of $600,000 over a four-year period. The ¡Adelante! program is creating a guaranteed college admission pathway from Santa Ana to California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine).
“Adelante encourages pre-college academic preparation for students enrolled in SAUSD,” said Rosa Harrizon, founding member of Padres Promotores de Educación. “It gives all students and their parents the confidence that they can go to college and that the higher education community is united in their commitment to support both access to and completion of college.”
Adelante guarantees that all SAUSD students who graduate from high school, enroll at SAC, and complete all academic requirements and application paperwork will be admitted as transfer students to CSUF or to UC Irvine. Santa Ana ¡Adelante! begins with all SAUSD sixth graders and their parents signing a college-going pledge and completing a related curriculum. The college-going pathway is strengthened as students enter high school, renew their educational plans, and apply for college admission.
To help boost the success of students like Sanchez, program strategies include:
All SAUSD seniors will received help in completing college admissions and financial aid/scholarship applications;
- All SAUSD seniors will receive priority registration at SAC and will be fully matriculated before high school graduation;
- All students will have access to specialized transfer planning and transfer application workshops, individualized case management, and peer mentoring;
- Guaranteed funding assistance to all students with unmet need who complete financial aid applications; and
- Bridging activities once SAC students transfer to universities, including direct linkages for academic and financial support.
Anticipated outcomes include increasing the college-going rate to 80 percent among all SAUSD graduates, 40 percent of all ¡Adelante! students obtaining an associate degree within three years, and 85 percent of all ¡Adealante! students who transfer to CSUF or UC Irvine earning a bachelor’s degree within three academic years. The ¡Adelante! program touches 12,000 SAUSD students annually and invites the more than 1,000 students per year that enroll at SAC from SAUSD to be part of the guaranteed university transfer program, a mainstay for Adelante.
The Adelante program is closely aligned with the Student Success Act of 2012 signed last week by Governor Brown,” said Martinez. “This piece of legislation serves as the cornerstone of a California Community Colleges effort aimed at boosting graduation rates and college completion rates. This is exactly what we are striving for with Adelante which is why retired Chancellor Scott endorsed our program.”
Latinos are the fastest-growing student population in the United States and this new effort is focused on leveraging the critical connection between their educational attainment and the future of our national economy. The ¡Adelante! program guarantees that all SAUSD students who graduate from high school, enroll at SAC, and complete all academic requirements and application paperwork will be admitted as transfer students to CSUF or to UC Irvine.
Expected outcomes include increasing the college-going rate to 80 percent among all SAUSD graduates, 40 percent of all ¡Adelante! students obtaining an associate degree within three years, and 85 percent of all ¡Adealante! students who transfer to CSUF or UC Irvine will earn a bachelor’s degree within three academic years.
Under the specific Latino Student Success effort, Lumina is supporting local partnerships like this in 11 states that demonstrate a commitment to the 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.
“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 an attainment.”
The strength of this focused Latino student effort is due to the dedication of many partners striving to reach a national college attainment goal. Partners in the Santa Ana ¡Adelante! program include SAC, SAUSD, CSUF, UC Irvine, University of Southern California Center for Urban Education, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the White House Office on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Padres Promotores de Educación, MANA de Orange County, the League of United Latin American Citizens, KidWorks, National Hispanic Business Women Association, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, City of Santa Ana, Comunidad Latina Federal Credit Union, SAC Foundation, Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, Miniondas, La Rockola 96.7 FM, Union Bank, and the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which will turn 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 13,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit www.sac.edu to learn more.
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: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. For more information, log on to www.luminafoundation.org.
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