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BCTC Teams Up with the Lumina Foundation to Increase Graduation Rates Among Latinos

(November 8, 2011) Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Lumina Foundation. Under the project, the Lumina Foundation will provide more than $600 thousand dollars over a four-year period to strengthen ventures to improve the postsecondary attainment of Latino students.

"BCTC is proud to be recognized by the Lumina Foundation for the excellent work of our staff in Latino outreach," said BCTC President Dr. Augusta Julian. "Many students will benefit by accessing expanded support services to prepare for success in higher education. With partners across the Commonwealth, this grant will give many students the chance to follow their dreams. We are pleased to be part of this important project."

BCTC will collaborate with other KCTCS colleges (Gateway, Hopkinsville, Jefferson, Owensboro and Somerset) educational, business, and community leaders across the state, including the Council on Postsecondary Education, to expand current programs and create new initiatives to increase Latino student college completion. The project will strengthen existing programs and create pipelines to postsecondary education for traditional and adult learners through the creation of the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance (K'LEA). K'LEA will assist Kentucky Latinos in overcoming the barriers that hinder postsecondary participation. Their goal is to help more than 78,000 Latinos in Kentucky to attain a high-quality degree or credential by 2025.

Strategies of the K'LEA project include:

  • specialized outreach efforts;
  • student and family support through Latino outreach coordinators;
  • financial aid support and financial literacy training;
  • career counseling and employment support;
  • peer mentoring;
  • two-year to four-year transfer and articulation support; and
  • "Latino Student Success" trainings for educators and student mentors.

BCTC is just one of 12 partnerships in 10 states.

At more than 50 million, Latinos represent the largest and fastest-growing population group in the United States. Fifty-six percent of Kentucky's Latino population is represented in the two largest cities in the state, along with their surrounding counties. Currently, only 19 percent of those individuals in Kentucky have an associate's degree or higher.