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Reaching Latino students and their families

JuntosAcross Oregon, educational providers are working together to improve high school graduation rates, which are among the lowest in the country. Schools in rural Oregon communities struggle more than others, and Latino student gradation rates are significantly lower than rates of other student populations.

In 2010, Madras High School (MHS) reported a 57 percent graduation rate for their Latino students. In just four years the school district was able to increase the Latino student graduation rate to 67 percent.

A critical component to the district’s success is a program called Juntos: a college readiness program targeted at first-generation college students and their families. Originally developed by North Carolina State University, Juntos was launched in Madras in 2012 through a partnership between Jefferson County School District 509-J and Oregon State University.

The Juntos program, taught in English and Spanish, connects participants with success coaches and college-age mentors who facilitate weekly afterschool clubs and activities.

After two years of running the program, MHS has seen the following improvements with the targeted population:

  • Decreased dropout rates
  • Increased post-secondary education access
  • Increased understanding of high school graduation requirements
  • Increased completion of college applications and FAFSA

Juntos is also offered in Culver, Tillamook and Sisters, with plans to expand to more locations over the next year.

“My experience with Juntos has been incredible. It has changed our lives dramatically and it’s something we never thought could happen to us.”

—Ingrid Sanchez, Juntos participant, Madras (pictured above)


Check out a video about the Juntos program at opencampus.oregonstate.edu/juntos.

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