AACC program helps Hispanic high school graduates adjust to college life

A group of Hispanic high school graduates who are attending AACC this semester transitioned into college life by taking a free, two-week course over the summer.  

Created in 2008, the Adelante program helps graduating high school students of Hispanic descent adapt to a full-time college schedule. 

“Adelante is a Spanish word, like to ‘move forward’ and that’s pretty much what we’re trying to make,” Adelante Program Coordinator Samuel Cordero-Puchales said. “We make sure they get the transitions.” 

According to Cordero-Puchales, the program includes four classes—known as sections—in literature, art, math and communication. These classes intertwine the use of works by famous Hispanic authors, poets and mathematicians with a typical course. 

“[Adelante] helped me understand my culture and get better at my culture, and get closer to my Latino friends,” Angelica Silva, a first-year early child development student, said. “I enjoy being in classes, and I enjoy waking up early and knowing that I have to get somewhere, and nobody’s pushing me.”  

According to Ferol Benavides, an Adelante English professor, her class read the book “Barrio Boy” by Ernesto Galarza—an autobiography about moving to an urban area of the United States from a small village in Mexico. 

Marvin Canales, another student in the program, said, “Adelante definitely has helped me make that transition from high school.” 

To apply for Adelante, students must apply to AACC, take the Accuplacer test, submit an Adelante application and bring a parent to a mandatory meeting. 

Students must also be eligible for the Student Achievement and Success Program. To qualify for SASP, a student must belong to a minority group, be a veteran, be eligible for financial aid, take one developmental course, or have parents who are not college graduates. 

To apply for SASP, students complete a SASP application, located at www.aacc.edu/resources/student-success/.