The IDRA Newsletter is published 10 times a year. Each edition focuses on issues in education, striving to provide many different perspectives on the topics covered and to define its significance in the state and national dialogue. The IDRA Newsletter can only be mailed to U.S.addresses, but pdf and web copies are available online.

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May 2012 Issue ~ Articles 


May 2012

Focus ~ College Access and Success

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Newsletter Executive Editor
María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, Ph.D.

ISSN 1069-5672

Higher Education Success – Key System Strategies
Our nation faces the challenge of making sure that all students, of all colors and incomes, have the skills and education necessary to compete in a global economy. This means ensuring that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and career. In a speech presented at the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education conference, IDRA president, María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., describes how IDRA is finding that proven strategies for increasing college completion parallel the Quality Schools Action Framework.

College Access and Graduation
Albert Cortez, Ph.D., explores this progression along with what is needed if we are to achieve the ambitious new goals of access to education that have been set before the country. He looks at trends in post-secondary enrollment including increases among the Hispanic students and Black students, while gaps still persist in college enrollment and graduation. If colleges and universities are to reflect what is a much more diverse population it will be imperative for all interested parties to adjust their efforts to adapt to new students.

Describing the First-Year Experience for First-Time-in-College Students at a Major Community College
Somewhere along the way, some educators, researchers and policymakers have come to believe that lower income, minority parents and families don’t value education, that they somehow want less for their own children. Our experience shows otherwise. Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., and Albert Cortez , Ph.D., share highlights from IDRA research regarding first-time-in-college (FTIC) students that was based on the philosophical tenet that FTIC students have resources and assets that have yet to be tapped, and institutions of higher education need to adapt, align and coordinate their programs and services to ensure access and success for these students.

Other short stories…

IDRA’s Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel on Univision about Schools Engaging Parents
See interview (Dr. Robledo Montecel’s interview is about 5 minutes into this video clip)


IDRA OurSchool Portal to Include College Data with Support from TG
See OurSchool portal

May 2012 Issue ~ Newsletter Plus 

Classnotes podcasts on creating a college-ready campus:

College Access for Low-Income and Minority Students – October 14, 2008

What Students Need their School Counselors to Hear – December 18, 2008

Youth, Technology and College Access – April 12, 2010

High School Youth Tekies on College Access – June 16, 2010

College for All – August 3, 2010

Principal on Creating a College Going Culture – March 29, 2011

Courageous Connections interview with a principal of an Early College High School, Roland Toscano, M.S., on Creating a College-Going Culture


See IDRA’s bilingual (English/Spanish) guide Achieve College ~ ¡Hacia Adelante! ~ A Guide for College Access, which includes four steps – getting ready in high school, making a good college choice, applying early to several colleges, and planning to get financial help – and a resource CD with a workbook for planning for college and checklists for ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

Courageous Connections interview with Dr. Daniel P. King, superintendent of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) school district in south Texas, on Connecting Every Student to a Meaningful Future

Excerpt from Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™

Measuring Up 2008 – The National Report Card on Higher Education, by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

Measuring Up – State Report Cards

Video: College Institutions & Restructuring: Lumina President Jamie Merisotis discusses how a redesign of higher education is necessary in order to make it more affordable and accessible in this video from Nightly Business Report. (1:40 min0)

Lumina Foundation report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education

The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings, by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. This study finds that earning power is increasingly tied to education.

Hispanic College Enrollment Spikes, Narrowing Gaps with Other Groups, by Richard Frey at the Pew Hispanic Center

A New Measure of Educational Success in Texas – Tracking the Success of 8th Graders into and through College, Houston Endowment Inc.

Latino College Completion in 50 States, by Excelencia In Education. Also online are state-level reports.

Video: Latino College Completion – South. On April 12, 2012, Excelencia in Education co-founders, Sarita Brown and Deborah Santiago, led a briefing on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology.