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College Prep 101 for Latinos is a student-operated retention program created to assist Latino and other interested students in adjusting to university life during their first years on campus and to provide them with academic guidance.

The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare these students for graduate programs or professional studies, such as law or medical school. The program consists of two major divisions: (1) Outreach and (2) Workshops and Programs. The two are designed to work in conjunction with each other. The project coordinator, Ms. Rosamaria Ponciano Parada, is in charge of Outreach, and Ms. Anelys Santos is responsible for Workshops and Programs.

College Prep for Latinos

Our Vision

Our primary vision is to bring students who never even dreamed of going to college to not only see success in their undergraduate studies, but reach even higher to achieve their potential by continuing into graduate programs.

College Prep 101 for Latinos addresses retention through a culturally-based paradigm that considers the students’ backgrounds and home life. Many Latino students are from very close-knit families and communities with a strong traditional culture that calls for respecting one’s parents and maintaining strong ties with their families. These students are most commonly the first in their families to attend college and are frequently unprepared to deal with the many problems that face Latino students upon arriving to campus. Until they have developed friendships and effective strategies for adjusting to campus life, Latino students frequently undergo homesickness, feel socially and culturally isolated, struggle academically, and also face problems similar to those of other freshmen. These problems, particularly social and cultural isolation, are hardships for Latino students, given their small numbers on campus and the distance from their families and communities. These adjustment issues place Latino students at a high risk to abandon their studies at IUP.

College Prep 101 for Latinos is designed to complement existing programs on campus, and supports students participating in the Act 101 Program and CUSP by encouraging students to make use of resources/services offered through the Act 101 Program and offering other resources, such as workshops on basic skills for surviving. College Prep 101 for Latinos also supplements Project ROCS, which is primarily aimed at incoming African American students and BOG recipients. In particular, it will assist Latino students who did not receive a BOG scholarship. Project ROCS and College Prep 101 for Latinos, it should also be noted, are not identical. The culturally- and linguistically-centered approach of College Prep 101 is unique to the program. It meets the specific needs of immigrant and first- and second-generation Latino students by incorporating their diverse Latin American heritage, Spanish language variations, and regional experiences not necessarily shared with other minority groups. Too often, these needs and the proper staffing are not considered in one-size-fits-all retention measures.

Historical Synopsis of Mission

College Prep for Latinos has evolved since its debut in late August 2008. Funds from a 2008–2009 PASSHE Diversity and Equity Grant and the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs made this program possible. Originally, it was a Latino recruitment and retention program designed around family, community, and the Latino Student Organization on campus. During its first year, College Prep 101 for Latinos was housed at the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute (MARTI), under the direction of Dr. Victor Garcia, the institute’s associate director of the Multicultural and Ethnic Diversity Research Program. Besides office space, MARTI provided other important resources, such as equipment use. Dr. Garcia is also the founder of College Prep 101 for Latinos and is its current faculty advisor.

Today, College Prep 101 for Latinos has a new home, Stright Hall, Room 107D. Retention of Latino students is now the program’s primary mission. This change from its original mission was necessary, because Latinos have a high attrition rate. For example, between 41 to 57 percent of the Latinos in the freshmen cohorts 2002–2005, 2003–2006, 2004–2007, and 2005–2008 dropped out.

Stop by and see us at our new location in Stright Hall, Room 107D.

  • College Prep 101 for Latinos
  • 210 South Tenth Street
    Stright Hall, Room 107D
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-375-4981
  • Fax: 724-357-3944
  • Office Hours
  • Monday: 10:30 a.m-3:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 12:15-3:15 p.m.
  • Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 10:30 a.m-3:15 p.m.