Latinx Student Services and Outreach (LASSO)

State
Georgia
Academic Level
Baccalaureate
Issue Area
Retention
Key Personnel

Overview

Latinx 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.

Program Description

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. LASSO increases the academic, social, and leadership opportunities for Latino/Hispanic students at GSU while also increasing collaborative efforts amongst Latino/Hispanic faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, they bring awareness about the value of family involvement in a student’s educational journey and engage the family through outreach initiatives. LASSO aids Georgia State University in the increase of Latino/Hispanic student retention, progression, and graduation rates.

Outcome

Through a generous donation from the Goizueta Foundation, LASSO 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, the program enrolled 2,404 Latino/Hispanic students. In 2014, Latinos at GSU had a graduation rate of approximately 55%, 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 due in part to the efforts of LASSO.