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UA Little Rock, Consulate of Mexico create partnership to promote community education programs

Participants sign an MOU announcement at UA Little Rock.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock have created a partnership to advance education initiatives primarily for Mexican nationals, those of Mexican origin, and others interested in Latino culture living in the central Arkansas region. 

The Consulate of Mexico at Little Rock has provided UA Little Rock with a $5,700 grant for activities that support Mexico’s Education Orientation Window Program to help consulates promote education among Mexican nationals and other Latino groups in the U.S. The program was established in 2017 by the Mexican Secretariat of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the Institute of Mexicans Living Abroad.

Conducted in partnership with UA Little Rock’s Department of World Languages, key activities will include outreach to local high schools and workshops on educational opportunities for adults.

“The Department of World Languages has long had an informal relationship with the Consulate of Mexico with respect to a variety of cultural activities,” said Dr. Andrew Deiser, chair of the Department of World Languages. “This newly established formal agreement with the consulate is an opportunity for both entities to fulfill our missions by collaborating on multiple educational initiatives.”

As an example of opportunities that can be afforded through this new partnership, UA Little Rock recently completed a five-week ACT prep program for high school students on Nov. 14. The classes were led by Dr. Edma Delgado-Solórzano, assistant professor of Spanish at UA Little Rock, and Mamás Unidas, a group of Latino mothers dedicated to providing higher education information and opportunities for their children and community.

“This is an organization of local moms from central Arkansas who do peer-to-peer advising on how to get their children beyond secondary education,” Delgado-Solórzano said. “There is a need for ACT prep classes, and I thought the university would be interested in bringing students to campus to make them feel more comfortable pursuing higher education.”

Around 50 to 60 students attended the workshops, which were conducted with assistance from the UA Little Rock Department of World Languages, Department of Math and Statistics, and TRIO Student Support Services.

In 2020, the Consulate of Mexico plans to offer educational workshops that will be open to any member of the public interested in learning more about these educational topics. The classes will include subjects like how to fill out the FAFSA, how to get a GED, tips for getting into college, and educational opportunities in Mexico. These are the types of activities with which UA Little Rock students and faculty will be engaged.