The principal objective of the Latinx Undergraduate Leadership Advancement (LULA) Program is to cultivate the next generation of Latinx professionals. The curriculum we teach is focused on skill-building in the areas of professional presentation, emotional intelligence, and becoming politically informed. In addition, the Program will emphasize entrepreneurship, economics, implicit bias, and diversity and inclusion. The LULA Program is designed to promote and facilitate constructive dialogue and interaction between Latinx undergraduate students and key community professionals. Latinx students will develop skills in leadership and professionalism as they prepare for life after their undergraduate careers.
2016 Census reports that there are 56 million Latinos in the US with 1.1
million Latinos in Colorado. Nearly one-third of Colorado Latinos live in
Denver, with 65% of the Denver Public School population identifying a
Latino. In Aurora Public Schools, 56% percent of the students enrolled are
- In 20
years, Latinos are projected to comprise 40% of Colorado’s population.
Over the next five years, Latinos will account for 50% of Colorado's
workforce replacement. By 2020, researchers estimate that Latinos
will fuel nearly a quarter of all U.S. Gross Domestic Product growth, and
represent 12.7% of the country’s total GDP. In 2016, Latinos spent
more than $12.3 billion in Colorado (Latino Leadership Institute at
University of Denver).
Institute reports that in Colorado, 30% of the k-12 population is
Latino. Furthermore, Excelencia in Education (2017) suggests that
for every 100 Latino 9th Graders in Colorado, only 67 will Graduate from
HS, 28 will enroll in college and only 10 will graduate. When
comparing Latinos (age 25-64) to whites who hold an associates or
bachelor’s degree, Colorado is last among the 50 states. There is a
35% college degree attainment gap when comparing whites and Latinos in
Colorado. This gap is the largest equity gap in the country.
Focus on CU Denver
The University of Colorado
Denver has a disparity when it comes to Latinx Student enrollment and
graduation. Since 2007, enrollment of Latinx students has increased
183%. Since 2007, graduation of Latinx students has only increased by 112%.
These numbers look good in the perspective of the university relative to
graduation rates increasing. But an equity gap exists.
So, put this in the eyes of a Latinx
Student. Yes, the odds of graduating are better today than they were in 2007.
However, this graph says, there still is a chance you may not graduate.
The odds of you being left behind and in debt are greater. A Latinx
student with loans and no degree not only fails to serve community, but also
decreases their economic involvement as they are less likely to pursue
entrepreneurial endeavors. Latinx enrollment at UCD is growing at an
exponential rate. If graduation cannot keep up with the pace, this
attainment gap is only going to get bigger, putting CU Denver and Colorado
The Denver Latino Commission recently
conducted a survey on Latinos in Denver to learn about strengths, challenges,
and opportunity. In the survey, it was salient that Latinos are now
seeing an increase in access to higher education and that they view college as
an opportunity. However, one of the challenges that was brought to the
forefront was, “limited opportunities for motivated students to thrive”.
This could be seen as one of many possible explanations about the disparity
between Latinx student growth and graduation.