Berklee Introduces SOMOS Latinx
Berklee’s Student Success Division is launching SOMOS Latinx, a new pre-orientation program developed for entering Latinx and Hispanic students.
SOMOS Latinx seeks to provide a multicultural and intercultural onboarding experience to entering undergraduate Latinx and Hispanic students, create space to celebrate the diaspora's contributions to Berklee and the arts, and support students in navigating their collegiate experience while maximizing their sense of belonging and potential for success.
According to the 2022–2023 Berklee Factbook, over 17 percent of domestic and 13 percent of international students identify as Latinx and/or Hispanic. The same document indicates that the current retention and graduation rates for Latinx and/or Hispanic students lag when compared to their white peers.
“We are excited for the launch of the SOMOS Latinx program,” says Christopher Kandus-Fisher, Ed.D., vice president of student success. “Students at Berklee thrive when they have a deep connection and sense of belonging to the community that they are part of. Students who participate in the program will be immediately connected to faculty, staff, and current students who identify as Latinx or Hispanic. The social ties and sense of belonging that will be created by participation in the program will allow our students to be more resilient and confident, knowing that they have a network to rely on.”
Sessions during the SOMOS Latinx program will include the following:
- Academic preparation: students develop an understanding of core concepts in music, dance, and theater.
- History and musical tradition: students develop an understanding of self in Latinx and Hispanic historical tradition.
- Community integration: students develop strategies to navigate academic and extracurricular experiences.
Ty-Juana L. Flores, director of Berklee’s Black Scholars Initiative (BSI), in partnership with the SOMOS Latinx leadership team, consisting of faculty and staff from across campus, will design and implement program, which takes place in August. Admitted undergraduate students from any of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and from Latin American and Hispanic heritage will receive an invitation to register for SOMOS Latinx in May 2023. In addition, current students from the Latinx and Hispanic diaspora can register to become student ambassadors and serve in a student leadership role for the 2023–2024 academic year.