National organization honors UIC for support of Latino students

Latina girl with papers

The ¡Adelante! Fund is the latest organization to recognize UIC for Latino student support.


The University of Illinois at Chicago has been named the 2014 University Partner of the Year by the ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund. The award, to be presented at a Nov. 3 awards gala in San Antonio, honors the fund’s educational partners that have “gone above and beyond” for Latino students.

The ¡Adelante! Fund, a nonprofit that supports Latino students with scholarships, internships and leadership development, has since 1999 provided more than $1.8 million in scholarships to hundreds of Latino college students nationwide.

UIC CHANCE, a program that helps the university recruit underrepresented students and offers comprehensive services to help the students succeed, partnered with ¡Adelante! during the past year to offer:

  • A $1,500 ¡Adelante! scholarship for leadership potential, awarded to one student majoring in business, computer science, biochemistry, electrical engineering or mechanical engineering.
  • The ¡Adelante! START! Chicago conference, which brought student leaders from the area to UIC for internship and career-preparation discussions led by corporate and educational speakers.
  • A leadership and networking breakfast to connect student leaders from Chicago area universities.
  • A special-events internship in the UIC CHANCE office.

“We look forward to further developing our partnership with ¡Adelante! and fostering new opportunities for personal and academic growth for our Latino students,” said Kendal Parker, director of the CHANCE Program.

Eight UIC CHANCE students will attend ¡Adelante!’s annual National Leadership Institute in San Antonio Nov. 1 – 3.

This latest recognition for UIC follows recent honors to UIC’s Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES) program for support of Latino students.

In September, Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit whose mission is to help Latino students succeed in higher education, honored LARES as the nation’s top program for increasing achievement for Latino students in the undergraduate category. Earlier this month, the National Academic Advising Association recognized LARES with an award for best practices in academic advising.

The six-year graduation rate for full-time Hispanic freshmen who entered UIC in fall 2008 was 56 percent, up seven percentage points from the year before and 16 points since 2010. The five-year graduation rate for new Hispanic transfers who entered in fall 2009 increased three points, to 74 percent.

UIC qualified this year to seek U.S. Education Department designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with a 26.4 percent Hispanic/Latino undergraduate enrollment, up 2.7 percentage points since the preceding fall.

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