Helios Announces $2 Million Partnership to Increase Latino Degree Attainment

Posted on: May 30, 2014

Vince Roig, Helios Education Foundation’s Founding Chairman recently announced a $2 million investment in the Maricopa Community College District (MCCD) focused on ensuring more Latino students in Arizona achieve a college degree.  The newly created partnership will help address the continued academic disparity among low-income and Latino students at a time when more jobs will require some form of postsecondary education. 

“While I am encouraged by everything that has been done to better prepare Arizona’s students for the future, I am concerned about the growing disparity in the academic achievement of our Latino students,”  said Roig.   “With Helios’ new partnership with Maricopa Community College District, we are putting a stake in the ground around the importance of ensuring all students have the opportunity to succeed because their academic success will determine the future economic success of Arizona.”

In a recent report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, researchers  predict a 16 percent growth in jobs in Arizona by the year 2020, but a majority of those jobs will require some college education or higher. Nationally, 65 percent of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education and training by 2020, according to that same report. In its Dropped report, the Morrison Institute of Public Policy at Arizona State University indicates that 65 percent of Latino adults in Arizona have no education beyond high school. 

“With this new investment, the partnership between the Maricopa Community College District and Helios Education Foundation is strengthened with the ultimate goal of ensuring that all students achieve a postsecondary education,” said Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Maricopa Community College District.  “We are grateful for Helios’ vision and commitment to enabling us to provide comprehensive academic supports for students that will help them realize their dreams of attaining a college degree.”

The partnership includes comprehensive student supports and resources, such as financial assistance, mentoring and academic support, opportunities for parent and family engagement, academic planning and other services. Students will be engaged throughout their community college experience with supports toward Associate’s degrees and/or certificate completion, as well as transition into baccalaureate degree granting institutions. The partnership will initially focus on two colleges with a high concentration of Latino Students - Estrella Mountain and Glendale - and will serve more than 900 students.

This new partnership with MCCD is part of Helios Education Foundation’s larger commitment to support postsecondary completion initiatives that help all students pursue, persist and achieve a postsecondary degree, but especially underserved students and other students from underrepresented populations. 

Category: Postsecondary Completion

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