The ENLACE Fellows initiative funds the tuition of 10-15 individuals for enrollment in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership with a Higher Education concentration every two years. The MA program has a curriculum and specific coursework focused on the educational needs of an increasingly diverse college student population. The program aims to support promising students to work as culturally competent and critical staff and administrators at institutions of higher education immediately after they graduate, aiding first-generation college students, economically challenged students, immigrants, and students from underrepresented groups, particularly at urban HSIs like Northeastern Illinois University.
The mission of ENLACE is to invest in the preparation of leadership in higher education that will create transformative change responsive to the educational needs of an increasing U.S. Latino population in colleges and universities. The program goals include:
1) Supporting promising students to work as culturally competent and critical staff and administrators at such institutions of higher education immediately after they graduate.
2) Educating students about the Latino educational pipeline and Hispanic Serving Institutions.
3) Preparing highly qualified students from underrepresented groups for further graduate study and research in doctoral programs so they may pursue a path to tenured faculty and senior administrator positions at colleges and universities across the nation.
· From 2000 to 2015, the program graduated 65 students over 6 cohorts of which 92% were Latino. There are currently 17 students enrolled in the program, 16 of whom are Latino.
· One hundred percent of students received a full fellowship funding their education.
· Two-thirds of graduates work in higher education, while the remainder work in K-12 education, in social services, in government, and a small minority in business.
· Several graduates have reached high levels of higher education administration, including an Assistant Dean for Academic Services & Programs, an Assistant Dean of Diversity at Augustana College, and a Director of Government Relations.
· All students complete a practicum in higher education as part of the program. These practicum include efforts both on and off of Northeastern Illinois University's campus, serving mainly Latino students at the middle, high school, and college level.
· Students have also conducted parent workshops in English and Spanish aimed at increasing access to college for Latinos. Together, over 5000 students and families have been reached by these outreach activities.