The César E. Chávez Institute established the Latino Educational Achievement Partnership (LEAP) as an advocacy and research initiative to promote the advancement of Latino students in higher education. We aim to engage Bay Area post-secondary institutions in a regional dialogue about how best to serve Latino students and promote equity minded institutional change. This dialogue is informed by a data and evidence based practice. We examine barriers to college enrollment, persistence and completion, and evaluate policy and practice to increase educational success and degree attainment.
We have a great opportunity in the Bay Area to improve postsecondary educational access and graduation rates for Latina/o students. As the number of Latinas/os pursuing postsecondary education increases, local colleges and universities will soon qualify to become Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). This federal designation opens up the opportunity for significant federal funding to support Latina/o students’ needs. However, potential HSIs currently lack a process and a system of accountability to support educational achievement by Latina/o students beyond enrollment.
We hope to create a consistent mechanism for feedback and dialogue between the community and institutional change agents on our campuses, and go on to create a Bay Area Commission for the Advancement of Latinos in Higher Education. We believe this will help lift indigenous practices, increases student engagement, improve information sharing and create accountability.
We collect institutional data and gather community input to create recommendations to increase Latino student enrollment, persistence and graduation.
We want to re-frame the conversation away from the deficient student to concentrate on practices that perpetuate poor outcomes.