The Indiana Latino Institute (ILI) recently announced enhanced partnerships with IU Southeast and other Indiana higher education institutions to increase postsecondary education attainment in the Latino community through the Indiana Latino Institute Higher Education Consortium. In addition, IU Southeast has committed to funding scholarships for academically gifted, low-income Latino youth over the next five years. The Indiana Latino Institute and its higher education partners will present these scholarships to ILI Indiana Education Program participants in order to recruit and enroll more Latino students, especially students who often face both cultural and financial barriers to educational attainment.
Since 2017, ILI has been convening representatives from Indiana colleges and universities to discuss the state of Latino education in Indiana through the creation of the Indiana Latino Institute Higher Education Consortium. Presidents, chancellors and other higher education administrators discussed best practices for helping Latino students learn about post-secondary educational opportunities, assisting them with matriculating and developing academically and professionally, and ultimately preparing these students to graduate and move on to high-quality jobs. After the March 2020 Consortium meeting, two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)—an agreement to join the Consortium and a commitment to offer scholarships—were presented to and executed by the institutions.
The Consortium MOU outlines the commitment between the schools and the Indiana Latino Institute to collaborate on culturally responsive approaches that improve Latino student access and facilitate completion.
“Recognizing that more Latino students will succeed by adopting proven, effective strategies, the secondary educational institutions and ILI signed a collaborative agreement to exchange ideas and create action plans that will increase enrollment and degree attainment for our growing Latino population,” stated Indiana Latino Institute President and CEO Marlene Dotson.
As many Latino students face financial obstacles, the Scholarship MOU commits the institution to offer full-ride scholarship opportunities annually for Indiana Latino Institute Education Program participants. These generous scholarships will be used to highlight available financial aid options for Latino students.
IU Southeast will award two full-ride scholarships per year to eligible ILI students starting in the fall of 2022.
“With the rich experiences that Latino students bring to our campus, our IU Southeast community is committed to engaging in thoughtful academic and career preparation in order that our students will lead lives of purpose,” said Chancellor Ray Wallace. “Our partnership with the Indiana Latino Institute will facilitate our goals to build a more diverse cadre of compassionate, confident, and skilled agents of change.”