Proven strategies and tools for engaging, enrolling, and serving Latino families in our Catholic school communities



What is the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI)?
The University of Notre Dame’s Catholic School Advantage program founded the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) in 2012. Traditionally held on the Notre Dame campus each summer, the LEI assists Catholic schools with substantial unmet capacity (open seats), favorable demographic potential—namely, a growing number of Latino families in the surrounding area—and motivated principals by offering a framework to transform schools in order to attract and serve Latino families.

What is the Twin Cities LEI?
The Twin Cities LEI is just like the LEI offered at Notre Dame, but it’s held in the Twin Cities. The same experts present the same material, but in your own backyard!

When and where is the Twin Cities LEI?

Tuesday, April 26* and Wednesday, April 27, 2022
7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. each day
breakfast and check-in at 7:30 a.m.; conference begins at 8:15 a.m.
*social time at 3:15 p.m. on April 26

University of St. Thomas, Opus Hall, Room 201, second floor
downtown Minneapolis (pdf map)

Is there a cost to attend the Twin Cities LEI?
There is no cost to attend the Twin Cities LEI. It is fully sponsored by the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF). It is the mission of CCF to support the educational, social and spiritual needs of our community. Ensuring strong Catholic schools that are welcoming to all children and families is a timeless and timely opportunity for CCF and its donors to fully live out this mission.

What will I gain from attending the Twin Cities LEI?
The Twin Cities LEI will offer presentations and lectures from Catholic school leaders with demonstrated success in implementing innovative Latino outreach strategies. The presenters have years of experience serving culturally and linguistically diverse student populations, and provide authentic witness to the notion that a Catholic school’s success is not dependent on the abundance of resources that it brings to bear, but rather on the authenticity and vigor with which it develops fresh and imaginative ways to carry out its mission.

What’s the agenda for the Twin Cities LEI?
The topics below are some of the most commonly addressed during an LEI:

  • Developing a deeper understanding of Latino cultures and traditions and the gift that they bring to the Church and our schools
  • Understanding cultural influences in children’s lives and how to create culturally sustaining classrooms and schools
  • How to enlist faculty, staff, and parents to reach out to Latino families and invite them to Catholic schools
  • Rethinking fundraising: strategies for cultivating and maintaining private and corporate donors
  • Ensuring that English learners thrive in Catholic schools
  • Community engagement: building relationships outside the parish-school


Which schools may attend the Twin Cities LEI?
The Twin Cities LEI is open to elementary and middle schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Who may attend the Twin Cities LEI?
Schools are encouraged to bring a team of three to the Twin Cities LEI:

  1. the principal (required)
  2. the pastor
  3. the enrollment or marketing manager or key staff member/volunteer, such as:
    • Secretary / Front Office Manager
    • Enrollment or Marketing Coordinator
    • Business Manager
    • School Board Member
    • Teacher
    • Parent Volunteer / madrina

The LEI was predicated on the idea that the principal is the single most important lever for change in a school, whether it be in establishing an environment that is culturally responsive to Latino families, implementing strategic marketing and recruitment efforts to boost Latino enrollment, or simply assembling the right team capable of carrying out these efforts. The principal’s efforts, however, are accentuated by the support of the pastor and key members of his/her staff and faculty. Experience shows that schools with collaborative principals and pastors who are equally engaged in this mission to welcome and serve Latino families are more effective, and dramatic gains can ensue. 

I have additional questions about the Twin Cities LEI. What do I do?
To learn more about the LEI program in general, visit the Alliance for Catholic Education’s LEI webpage.
For questions about the Twin Cities LEI, please reach out to Sara Harwood, Twin Cities LEI program manager, via email.