A Purposeful Tradition:
The Encuentros Academy Model was launched in response to the historically low post-secondary education achievement levels of Latino males. In the U.S., Latino males over the age of 25 are the lowest college degree attaining population. Since 1970, Latino males have earned less than 10% of all post-secondary education degrees granted in the U.S. Moreover, Latino Males lag behind Latina’s in college attendance, retention and college completion rates. No other ethnic group has as large a gender equity gap in post-secondary education, as Latino men. As of 2014, 20% of Latino males had earned an associate degree or higher, compared to Asian (62%), Anglo (45%), African American (30%) males, and Latino females (25%)*.
*U.S Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2014
*U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2015.
Our three academies are responding to the persistent history of underachievement in post-secondary education for aspiring Latino males. The Encuentros Academy model is a college preparatory, leadership skill-building program. All academies has a leadership skill-building curriculum that emphasizes the development of: self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, team collaboration, networking, socialization, presentation literacy, emotional intelligence, goal-setting, organizational discipline, career planning, and more. Our academies build a foundation for the understanding of healthy habits which lead to personal success.
Each student is assigned a Team Leader. Our Team Leaders are selected with specific experiences and skill sets in mind. Typically, they are current university students or recent undergraduates. What we look for in Team Leaders are unique and proven qualities that combine education, culture, and emotional maturity to provide Academy students with an effective mentor, coach and college guidance counselor. Academy teams are made up of a Team Leader with a ratio of 5 to 7 student team members. Teams reside in campus dormitories and work as a team on all Academy assignments. Prior to the Academy, parents, students and Team Leaders attend separate comprehensive orientations where they learn about the Academy’s purpose, the week’s schedule of activities, and the Academy “Code of Conduct.”