PASO About Us
In April of 2017, the standing Harper College Strategic Enrollment Management Task Force recommended the appointment of a more targeted Task Force to address recruitment and retention declines among Latinx students1. The recommendation included a list of personnel from a variety of key campus constituencies to make up the Hispanic Strategic Enrollment Management Task Force (HSEMTF or simply “Task Force”).
In the context of environmental scanning and enrollment data at the time, the Task Force was charged to:
- Analyze data for the Hispanic population and identify gaps that impede student enrollment, persistence and/or completion.
- Develop recommendations that provide appropriate and effective program and course offerings, while enabling them to complete their academic requirements.
- Work with internal and external partners to provide opportunities for the exchange of resources and/or consult on new, best practices.
The ultimate goal of the HSEMTF is to propose a series of recommendations that will allow Latinx students to enroll, persist, and progress towards meeting their educational objectives in a timely manner.
The Recommendation: PASO
A program like PASO will provide parents of Latinx students resources necessary to support their children and have the ability to navigate through the educational system. The desired outcome is for Latinx parents to learn how to be advocates for their children.
Overarching Strategy: Over the course of 2017-8 academic year, the HSEMTF identified strategies to increase the enrollment and retention rate of self-identified Latinx students. This taskforce researched proven best practices to address the needs of this emerging population at the College, it was discovered, involvement of parents is directly correlated to the success of students.
PASO will assist to promote family and community involvement on campus. Research indicates that a program like PASO will increase persistence rates and college engagement, and decrease dropout rates. This will be used to motivate Latinx students to learn how to navigate the Harper College process and additional academic opportunities beyond Harper.
1 “Latinx” is the most contemporary and, many argue, the most empowering of the terms used in this report. It is increasingly associated with younger people and learning environments, being deliberately inclusive of social justice concerns including gender-inclusivity. Latino/a remains very common but we have given precedence to Latinx here. The Task Force uses “Hispanic” in reference to institutional statistics, since it is the term used for national data such as the Census.