What is Café Con Leche

Café Con Leche allows Latino parents to learn more about education and career opportunities for their children in a non-threatening setting. Facilitated by Gonzalo Robles, Educational Consultant, these forums take place in familiar places, such as: schools, universities, community centers, neighborhoods and churches around the state. Robles encourages parents to discuss the fears and obstacles they face when making decisions about sending their students to a post-secondary educational institution, and creating a “Culture of High Expectations” at home. Robles’  vision is to have  families  thinking and planning for college from the time their students enter elementary school. Café Con Leche was first developed by the Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Elementary School to High School-Road to College Program

The Road to College Program is an educational engagement program for parents and students.  It instills the value of education, while developing positive school-to-parent relationships and creating a college-going culture for 5th to 12th grade students and their families. The curriculum is comprised of monthly or weekly educational sessions that include: Creating High Expectations at Home, Understanding the Role of Parents in Education, Participating in School and Community Activities, College Life and Financial Aid 101, and Taking Advantage of College Access Resources. In addition, The Road to College Program is offer to students during the summer. The summer curriculum is six weeks consisting of four different segments: Academic Enrichment, Supportive Guidance, Nutrition, and Fitness. Current data shows that when parents are involved and have access to information about college from the time their students enter elementary school, those students are more likely to graduate from high school and enter college.  On the contrary, if we fail any of them, only one in five will graduate on time from High School.

Latino Engagement & Culture

To effectively engage families in this very important conversation, Café Con Leche utilizes an inclusive, innovative approach that builds rapport, understands Latino family norms and is culturally relevant today. Latino Engagement is a process of informing, educating, and strengthening community, relationships and trust with Latino families. We utilize authentic engagement strategies; establishing advocates for people, neighborhoods and issues.   With Latino Engagement; we will ensure education is top-of-mind and a key conversation at the Latino dinner table.

Café Con Leche Is

  • Flexible—geared toward parent needs
  • Measurable—shares ongoing data on program success and parent concerns about school and college
  • Driven—provides advice and steps to prepare students to be college-ready

Café Con Leche Does…

  • Support and serve parents
  • Connect parents to school and community activities
  • Identify challenges and barriers parent face in creating high expectations and academic success
  • Track parent progress throughout program
  • Network parents with one another and with community organizations
  • Provide ongoing progress evaluation

Café Con Leche Measures…

  • Parent participation
  • Knowledge learned over time
  • Change in behaviors at school and home life

Results: Creating a College-Going Culture

The University of Texas System Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI), through the College Access and Evaluation Divisions, produced a report on the Café Con LecheCollege Access Outreach and Scholarship Program. IPSI  assessed the success of the program with 800 parents from 18 regions throughout Texas. The following are the key findings from evaluations of the Café Con Leche sessions.

After attending Café Con Leche sessions…

  • 87% of parents said they would be more likely to complete the FAFSA or TASFA
  • 57% of parents said they contacted their school counselor
  • 68% of parents said they would connect with family and friends about Café Con Leche
  • 99% of parents said the program should be continued
  • 98% of  Café Con Leche scholarship grantees are still attending college