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The Belk Center partnered with The Hunt Institute and LatinxEd to co-host the first convening of Avanza, Spanish for “to advance, progress, and/or move forward.” This year-long community of practice provides community college leaders with a space to discuss best practices and barriers to Latinx student success in order to better recruit, support, and retain Latinx students as they work to complete a postsecondary degree or credential. 

The following institutions were invited to participate in the inaugural Avanza cohort based on their designation* as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), emerging HSI, or their overall commitment to Latinx student success:

  • Alamance Community College  
  • Blue Ridge Community College  
  • Forsyth Technical Community College  
  • James Sprunt Community College  
  • Pitt Community College 
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 
  • Sampson Community College 
  • Wake Technical Community College 
  • Wayne Community College 
  • Wilkes Community College

Program Objectives 

To support institutions in developing a framework for success tailored to their current practices and needs, this collaborative partnership aimed to:

  1. Establish a learning community to share best practices related to recruiting, serving, and graduating Latinx students at North Carolina community colleges.
  2. Introduce culturally relevant frameworks to best support and advocate for Latinx students.
  3. Provide technical support to institutional leaders at participating institutions.
  4. Inform institutional leaders on federal and state policies related to Hispanic-serving and Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions to leverage existing funding streams, resources, and networks.
  5. Inform institutional leaders on Latinx landscape in their communities, including but not limited to data on student and community populations, individuals and organizations providing social capital within the community. Examples include: Examples include community profiles, demographic information, and community resources and spotlights.

Over the course of the year-long program, participating leaders have received technical assistance and policy support through various gatherings and workshops, which are described below.

Looking Forward

In March 2024, The Hunt Institute, LatinxEd, and the Belk Center will convene to host the second Avanza cohort.