The Illinois Latino Family Commission improving education opportunities

The college degree is more important than ever for young Latinos. Only 17 percent graduate with [some type] of diploma and the state’s goal is for that to be 60 percent by 2025.

Why is there such a low percentage of Latinos graduating every year? To start, they request funds for their studies very late and stay out of state resources. This year, the money ran out in mid-February, when many Latino students had not even applied for financial aid from FAFSA yet. This is an issue of great concern to the Illinois Latino Family Commission. “That is why our approach in the Commission is direct and strong with the sole intention of solving this educational crisis that has affected us for years,” said Dr. Layla Suleiman González, executive director of the Illinois Latino Family Commission.

“The bill to raise Funds for MAP would be an advancement in our agenda, but that’s yet to be seen. In the meantime, we continue to work closely with the Latino Legislative Caucus and the Board of Higher Education and the State of Illinois Board of Community Colleges and ILACHE to advance the education agenda,” said Gonzalez.

The Senate of the Ninety- Eight General Assembly Illinois ruled that the Board of Higher Education of the State and the Board of Illinois Community College will work with the Illinois Latino Family Commission to develop a guide to self-study to be distributed to all public universities and community colleges in throughout the state of Illinois. In addition, the Illinois Latino Family Commission shall provide administrative support for the creation of the guide and the self-study should include, but not be limited to the following:

1. Increase the number of Latino employees, especially faculty in Illinois public higher education. This is an urgent priority for community colleges.

2. Promote transfers from community colleges to a four-year baccalaureate college.

3. Latinos are concentrated in community colleges. If the number of transfers increases the number of Latino students increases in baccalaureate programs.

4. Creating a culture of going to college in schools with large Latino enrollments.

“We now have several bills being considered by the legislature, which will help improve opportunities for an education of excellence for Latinos in Illinois,” said Gonzalez.

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