Armstrong State University
Bearings: News and Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Bearings: News & Perspectives for Academic Affairs

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Dec 2, 2012, 04:34 pm - Carey Adams

I have mentioned here before that meetings and conversations occupy much of my daily schedule.  Probably 90% of the content is identifying problems and/or opportunities, generating ideas, and talking about plans, particularly if you include all the time spent revisiting ideas and plans that were discussed at some time in the past.  Often we are better at coming up with ideas than we are at executing plans of action.  That is one reason why it was so satisfying to take part in  Domingo Universitario this past Sunday, because it is an example of our identifying a big goal and following through.

Domingo Universitario (University Sunday) is part of CAMINO, a collaborative, Lumnina Foundation-funded initiative aimed at doubling the percentage of Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in postsecondary education in the Savannah area.  On December 2nd over 100 students and their families spent the day in the Armstrong Center attending informational sessions on topics such as financial aid, preparing for college entrance exams, the admission process, and writing scholarship essays.  This was twice the number that attended the innaugural Domingo Universitario last December.  

Since 2003, when Armstrong established our HOLA program (Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at Armstrong), there has been a 200% increase in the number of Hispanic/Latino students enrolled here.  Hispanic/Latino students now number more than 420 and represent nearly 6% of our student population.  They persist and graduate at rates that exceed national averages and those for the average student at Armstrong.  During these eight years Armstrong has received grants from the Goizueta and Lumina foundations totalling $2.5 million, and we have received national attention for our success.   We are well on our way to accomplishing our long-term goal of a 10% Hispanic/Latino population by 2020.

Our success is due to the commitment and hard work of many individuals, not least among them Melody Rodriguez.  I have heard and participated in many conversatons about our Hispanic/Latino initiatives, and in none of them have I heard statements like, "Hey, remember we talked about maybe doing such-and-such," or "Yeah, that's just the way it's always been."  What I have seen are clear plans of action, measurable goals, and individuals assuming responsibility for meeting those goals.  It should come as no suprise, then, that these programs have become signature successes.

If all of our good ideas and solutions were executed as successfully as our HOLA and CAMINO initiatives have been, we would truly be a force with which to be reckoned.

Have a great week,