New “family focused” partnership provides pathways to higher education for both Latino youth and their family
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 7, 2023) – Western Governors University (WGU) and Latinos In Action (LIA) announced a new partnership to increase access to affordable, competency-based, online educational opportunities for Latino youth and their families in Utah and across the nation. The agreement establishes a pathway for LIA associates – including LIA graduates, employees, and their parents – to career-ready bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificates, and credentials. LIA associates are also eligible to apply for the WGU Community Outreach Partnership scholarship, valued up to $5,000 per recipient ($1,250 per term for up to four academic terms).
“We are excited to partner with LIA to provide this new opportunity specifically designed to support working families,” said WGU Regional Director Ismar Vallecillos. “WGU remains true to its mission to change lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity. Our promise is to make education work for everyone.”
“LIA’s asset-based approach to student success is made possible in part by the support of our community partners,” said LIA Founder/CEO Dr. Jose Enriquez. “WGU is another outstanding resource for the young people we serve and their families. For many, the university will provide an opportunity to build on their hard-earned knowledge and skills and make a greater, positive impact on those around them.”
WGU is a private, non-profit, accredited university offering degrees and other educational programs designed to fit into busy work and home schedules. LIA is an organization that empowers Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness. LIA accomplishes this by focusing on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills. LIA currently has 14 employees and approx. 9,000 students participating yearly in nearly 200 schools across the US and five university chapters.
“Changing lives and building strong communities requires a collective impact,” added Vallecillos. “This new partnership with LIA will expand affordable education for more deserving people.”
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 140,000 students nationwide and has more than 300,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just over 25 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.
About Latinos In Action
Latinos In Action (LIA) offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for Latino students, working from within the educational system to create positive change. Our program operates as a year-long elective course taught by a highly-qualified teacher at the middle school, junior high, and high school level. The end goal of everything we do is to empower Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness. We accomplish this by focusing on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills. Because of this unique combination, the LIA model has proven effective throughout the United States. In 2015, LIA was awarded the White House Bright Spot for Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Excellence in Hispanic Education.