Engaging Latino Communities in Education (ENLACE) - Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The mission of the ENLACE program at Northeastern Illinois University is to invest in the preparation of leadership in higher education to create change responsive to educational needs of Latinx students and an increasingly diverse college student population. The program aims to support students to work as culturally competent and critical staff and administrators at institutions of higher education immediately after they graduate, aiding first-generation college students, economically challenged students, immigrants, and students from underrepresented groups. 


Program Description

ENLACE funds the tuition of 10-15 individuals for enrollment in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership with a Higher Education concentration every two years. Program practices include: 

1. The program requires a practicum, so students are introduced and learn how to work in a higher education environment.
2. The program offers courses that focus on the history, contemporary issues, and best practices, based on cultural competency, for higher education students from Latinx communities.
3. The majority of the courses for the master's program are taught by local Latinx leaders in higher education all with doctoral degrees. 


The program has graduated over 100 Latinx Master's students since 2001 and alumni currently work in, at least, 32 higher education institutions in the Chicago area.

100% of students received a full fellowship, funding their education.

Several graduates have reached high levels of higher education administration, including an Assistant Dean for Academic Services and Programs, an Assistant Dean of Diversity at Augustana College, and a Director of Government Relations.

Students have also conducted parent workshops in English and Spanish aimed at increasing access to college for Latinos. Together, over 5000 students and families have been reached by these outreach activities.

Latinos in Higher Education - 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts - web pop-up banner with "Learn More" button.