MDC played a key role helping Lumina Foundation launch a four-year, $7.2 million effort to improve the postsecondary success nationwide of Latino students, who are the fastest-growing student population in America. Titled "Latino Student Success," the initiative was aimed at bringing together community leaders in policy, education, business, and nonprofits to create community partnerships that can dramatically increase the number of Latino students who start—and finish—studies at postsecondary institutions (both community colleges and universities).
In 12 metropolitan areas in 10 states from Florida to New York and California to North Carolina (including MDC's home base of Durham-Raleigh), MDC led community coaching as partnerships developed a plan and create a structure for implementing sustainable strategies that could have long-term success helping Latino high school and college students.
Partners, working with a backbone organization taking the lead, considered a wide array of means for helping students making it to and through college, including tutoring and mentoring programs, professional development for faculty, removing roadblocks in the transition from high school to college, and providing financial planning classes for their families. Communities also created systems to collect data and track students' progress.
At more than 50 million, Latinos represent the largest and fastest-growing population group in the United States. By 2025, half of the nation's workers will be of Latino descent. At that time, 63 percent of all jobs in the United States will require some form of postsecondary education or training, according to labor economist Anthony Carnevale of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
LSS is part of Lumina Foundation's national Goal 2025
movement, which aims to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025.