Miami is known for its large Latino population and so are Miami’s higher education institutions. Miami Dade College has made significant strides in making sure its Latino students are excelling in their educational pursuits. So Miami Dade College’s program Connect4Success has just been named a finalist for the 2022 Excelencia award.
Connect4Success (C4S) is a program founded in 2006 that helps Miami Dade College students transfer to Florida International University after completing their Associates of Art. It is a dual degree program, and about 70% of MDC students who complete their Associates of Art degree who are in this program transfer to FIU. Students who are a part of the program are connected to advisors who help the transfer process go smoothly.
Services that distinguish C4S like mental health counseling, learning resources, student life and career and transfer workshops.
The Excelencia award is to recognize practices that help Latino students strive. Connect4Success being named as a finalist for the award validates that this program is helping Latino students move forward in their education.
“MDC enrolls more minorities than any higher learning institution in the US, with approximately 75% being Hispanic,” said Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College. “As democracy’s college, it is our priority to help provide innovative pathways like C4S, which personalizes student support and ensures student success. Through collaboration with FIU, students have access to bridge advisors who help them become transfer ready, which means choosing a major early, completing prerequisites in a major, meeting GPA and other requirements. Through these unique partnerships, Miami Dade College is advancing Hispanic student success.”
There are resources to first-generation Latino students as well who may struggle with having the necessary resources to navigate college and transferring to a university.
“It is important to dedicate resources to first-generation students who may need personalized advice and extra guidance on their academic journey, especially if they are the first in their families to go to college,” said President Pumariega. “Addressing their personal as well as academic needs is critical to keeping students in school and on track toward earning their degrees.”
MDC makes sure that C4S is meeting the needs of these students by expands guided pathways, personalize advising and leveraging technology to increase student completion, transfer and career advancement, according to Ms. Pumariega. They implement equity-minded student-centered strategies that promote student success.
Excelencia in Education has been recognizing programs that help achieve Latino success for 17 years. This year, Excelencia received 93 program submissions representing 17 states including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. When it came to the 20 finalists, MDC’s Connect4Success was named.
Winners will be announced Sept. 29 in Washington, DC.
“Receiving this award strengthens Miami Dade College’s commitment to expanding pathways that ensure everyone has a path to success in our community,” said Ms. Pumariega. “Our goal is to make sure our students create defined paths to prosperity and through this recognition, it will continue inspiring us to find innovative solutions that will remove barriers and inequities confronting Latino students.”