Fielding Graduate University News

School of HOD faculty member, Dr. Placida Gallegos, plays crucial role in implementing project to boost Latino/Latina student success in New Mexico

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Tue, Oct 09, 2012

Picture of  Placida Velasquez GallegosFielding Graduate University faculty Placida Gallegos, PhD, in the Human & Organizational Development (HOD) program, was an integal part of the core-planning team and a coach in the latino/latina student success project for the state of New Mexico, which was among similar projects across the country for which the Lumina Foundation provided significant funding.

The Lumina Foundation required all participating sites to undergo a rigorous reflection and planning period during the first year. The process was designed to ensuring the strategy generated by each city was sustainable and would result in the collective impact of closing the achievement gap for latino/latina students in higher education.  

The Lumnia Foundation announced the following in a press release October 3rd, 2012:

Lumina is pleased to acknowledge the great work and leadership of local champions all across the country. Over the past six months, Lumina has provided technical assistance and support to these 13 communities as they have refined and developed Latino student success projects. The cohort is now ready for implementation, and the projects proposed seek to increase the educational attainment for more than 200,000 students touched by this effort over the next four years. This investment in Latino student success is designed to strengthen local collaborative ventures that promise to improve the postsecondary attainment of Latino students.

Through this grant investment, Lumina is providing a total of $11.5 million over a four year period to 13 different partnerships. The partnerships will leverage community leaders across key policy, education, business and nonprofit sectors to build, implement and sustain college preparation, access and success strategies for Latino students.

“Lumina’s Latino Student Success effort is grounded in two concepts: a commitment to Latino student success for reasons of equity, economic stability and national competitiveness, and the power of local partnerships as framed by the Collective Impact Model,” said Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “This effort is an integral part of our commitment to Goal 2025.”

At more than 50 million, 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.

“Lumina’s Latino Student Success effort enables us to focus on a task that is at once a serious challenge and a priceless opportunity: increasing college attainment for more Latino students,” said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education. “This effort will not only enhance the lives of Latino students but will help to ensure a bright future for all Americans.”

The success of this effort is a key driver on the road to reach all national college attainment goals. (


Tags: educational leadership, diversity, multicultural