Latino Student Services and Outreach (LASSO) is a unit under the area of Student Retention and Undergraduate Studies at Georgia State University. The primary function of LASSO is to promote an inclusive community that enhances the success of Latino students. We seek to recruit, retain, empower, graduate, and advance Latino/Hispanic students at GSU. LASSO’s mission is accomplished by offering students support services, mentoring programs, volunteer and outreach opportunities, leadership and career development programs, academic support programs, as well as referral services. We are also interested in collaborating with other offices and departments on campus to develop partnerships focused on student learning that compliments the academic, personal, career, social, and cultural development of Latino/Hispanic students.
The goals of LASSO provide order and structure to our daily interactions with students. They also allow us to measure our progress towards achieving success. LASSO is strongly committed to the following:
- Providing a safe space for all students irrespective of class, sexual orientation, nationality, citizenship, or immigrant status
- To support the development of self-advocacy of students so that they may attain their academic and professional aspirations.
- Increasing academic, social, and leadership opportunities for Latino/Hispanic students at GSU
- Increasing collaborative efforts amongst Latino/Hispanic faculty, staff, and students
- Increasing awareness about the value of family involvement in a student’s educational journey and engaging the family through outreach initiatives
- Aiding in the increase of Latino/Hispanic student retention, progression, and graduation rates
- Raising awareness about college access
- Increasing awareness about the Latino/Hispanic student experience
Through a generous donation from the Goizueta Foundation, we received a $4.9 grant to dedicate to 100 scholarships, Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring, Service Learning, and Mentoring. Through this grant, we have developed the Latino Leadership Pipeline which is a comprehensive program designed to address the barriers Latino students may face and create a pipeline for students from high school to college and ultimately into the work force and graduate school. In the fall of 2012, we successfully enrolled 2,404 Latino/Hispanic students. In 2014, Latinos at GSU had a graduation rate of approximately 55%, which is 14 points higher than the national average. Additionally, through the university’s comprehensive and intentional efforts, Latinos at GSU have experienced a 171% increase in graduation rates over the past 5 years. Georgia State University graduates the most Latino/Hispanic students in GA and was named one of the Too 100 schools awarding degrees to Hispanic/Latino students in 2010.