In a recent Providence Journal article by Superintendent Susan Lusi and RIC President Nancy Carriuolo, Rhode Island Campus Compact is noted for supporting Latino Student Success at Rhode Island College.
Nancy Carriuolo and Susan F. Lusi: Helping Latinos thrive in higher education
Providence Public Schools and Rhode Island College, in collaboration with the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet, are working together to help members of Rhode Island’s fastest growing minority population succeed in higher education.
In 2013, Lumina Foundation selected Providence as one of the nation’s first 20 cities to join its Community Partnerships for Attainment, with the goal of increasing the number of local residents with post-high school degrees or high-quality certificates. The Providence partnership, led by the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, chose to identify and fund one model program it could pilot to improve college retention rates for the city’s Latino students.
The retention rate for minority students in four-year colleges is a national issue. While 49 percent of white students graduate from a four-year college within six years of enrolling, only 44 percent of Latino students graduate within this same time frame, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Among the reasons listed are basic financial concerns and unfamiliarity with the higher education system — a particularly relevant issue for those students who represent the first generation in their family to attend college.
The Providence program is built upon Rhode Island College’s award-winning Learning for Life peer support program, a public/private partnership whose network includes College Visions, the College Crusade and Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island. Learning for Life pairs student scholars with trained peer navigators who point them to appropriate academic, social service and financial supports available not just at Rhode Island College but within the community at large.
The program identifies gaps and collaborative opportunities in the service network and brings stakeholders together to generate needed resources for students. Learning for Life also actively works to help students build necessary financial foundations and align their academic plans with future career goals.
The Lumina grant has helped Rhode Island College and the Providence Public School District, with assistance from Campus Compact, to launch the Latino student success pilot, a new Learning for Life cohort of approximately one dozen RIC Latino freshmen who are recent graduates of Providence public schools…