FAU Receives $1.4 million Grant to Improve Educational Success for Minority Students

FAU, in a joint program with the University of South Florida, Florida International University and the University of Central Florida, has recently received a grant for $1.4 million to help support ENLACE Florida. ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) is a developing national program instituted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1999. The main goal of ENLACE is to identify and eliminate the barriers which prevent educational success amongst diverse and underrepresented students.

ENLACE is designed to promote meaningful policy change by forming a network consisting of universities, community colleges, school districts, community organizations, non-profit organizations, educators, students and parents. The newly expanded ENLACE program will lobby for policies designed to improve educational success for minority students in Florida school districts.

Sheila McDevitt, vice chair of the Board of Governors and chair of the Governor’s Commission on Access and Diversity, was very confident regarding the efficiency of ENLACE Florida. “ENLACE Florida takes a comprehensive approach that ties together best practices for expanding access, retention and success while enhancing diversity to create one coherent and effective strategy,” McDevitt said. “We will use these tools to clear out roadblocks that hinder student preparedness.”

ENLACE has had a marked success in Florida during its short five-year span. Since the start of ENLACE, over 100,000 Latino and other minority students have participated in the program, helping them achieve success in their academic endeavors.

Chancellor Mark Rosenberg also spoke highly of the ENLACE program. “This collaboration will make a difference for many young Floridians of many backgrounds. It will help open the door to a college education for students who might not otherwise get the opportunity to pursue a degree.”

The Florida Board of Governors hopes to expand the ENLACE program to include all underrepresented groups and all state universities. A budget request will go before the state legislature in 2007 with the hopes of broadening the scope of ENLACE Florida.